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Dissatisfied international students creating untapped opportunities

May 28, 2019

Media article by Elite Agent published on 27 May 2019.

New research on international student accommodation satisfaction levels has revealed there’s room for improvement, which could offer an opportunity for specialist student accommodation providers.

According to the 2019 Aussie Study Experience report from EdTech business, Cohort Go, international students are only partially satisfied with the Australian accommodation they are currently being offered, with 60.4 per cent choosing to live in private rentals.

The report recorded responses from 651 international students between November 2018 and March 2019.

The top two regions for responses were the Asia-Pacific (49 per cent) and South America (38 per cent), with the majority of those who completed the report aged between 18 and 24 (37 per cent), closely followed by 25-29-year-olds (32 per cent).

The report respondents gave an average satisfaction rating of 57 out of 100.

Cohort Go believes the results demonstrate an opportunity for specialist student accommodation providers to win more market share.

Between 2018 and 2019 alone, Australia’s international education accommodation industry added 10,850 new beds, according to information from real estate service provider Savills.

Cohort Go CEO Mark Fletcher said student accommodation providers should view the research as an opportunity to create a superior student experience.

“With the student accommodation market in Australia rapidly expanding, international students are an increasingly important segment that must be accommodated for.

“Our research shows that these students are underwhelmed by their current, mostly privately-rented, accommodation – a 57 per cent satisfaction rate is something any industry would be concerned about,” he said.

Mr Fletcher added that the homestay market continues to have an important role to play, but with fewer than one in 10 international students staying in student accommodation, and only 5.8 percent living in on-campus accommodation, there is a clear opportunity for providers to grow their market share.

Where international students in Australia stay

Accommodation TypePercentage
Private rental60.4%
Homestay15.6%
Other9.8%
Student accommodation service8.4%
On-campus5.8%

Education Agents have a role to play

Providing access to booking accommodation services is also a missed opportunity for education agents, according to Cohort Go.

While 59 percent of international students chose their Overseas Student Health Cover (OSHC) insurance provider based on the recommendations of education agents, only 12 percent are living in accommodation that was booked via an agent.

“Key to improving satisfaction is the ability to connect international students with quality accommodation ahead of their arrival in Australia,” said Mr Fletcher.

“Accommodation is often a key factor for an international student’s overall study experience, and by working together to offer a great place to stay at a fair price, providers and education agents can ensure Australia continues to be a top study destination for a huge range of international students.”

How international students in Australia book accommodation

Accommodation TypePercentage
Direct with accommodation provider39.4%
Other25.9%
Real estate agency15.3%
Education agent12%
Student accommodation service5.3%
Education provider2.1%

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