Purpose-Built Student Accommodation (PBSA)

There are numerous issues students are facing in PBSA from cost, to conditions from accessibility to unfinished buildings.


Recent NUS Wins

The new draft London Plan mandates new PBSA to have at least 35% of rooms available at 55% of the maximum maintenance loan and they must have a formal relationship with a higher education provider so affordable rooms can be allocated to students most in need.

We successfully secured discussions and recommendations on the issue of student accommodation costs in the recent Augar Review.


National Activity

NUS is regularly engaged in lobbying and campaigns on the issue of student accommodation. Keep an eye on this page to see how you can get involved!



Our core research on the issue can be found in our regular Accommodation Costs Survey conducted in partnership with UNIPOL Student Homes. It is a survey of PBSA providers providing data on cost, room-types, ownership, policies and much more. Next  time the survey comes around ensure your institution responds!

Accommodation Costs Survey 2018

Accommodation Costs Survey 2015

Accommodation Costs Survey 2012

Pound in Your Pocket Housing Costs Briefing 2014


The Accommodation Codes

Three voluntary codes of practice for operators of PBSA in the higher education sector were approved by parliament in April 2006:

  • The Universities UK/GuildHE Code of Practice for University Managed Student Accommodation
  • The ANUK/Unipol Code of Standards for Larger Residential Developments for Student Accommodation Managed and Controlled by Educational Establishments
  • The ANUK/Unipol Code of Standards for Larger Developments for Student Accommodation NOT Managed and Controlled by Educational Establishments

The Codes raise and enforce standards in a number of areas and provide students and their unions the ability to formally complain when there are violations in the Codes.

NUS played a significant role in the establishment of these Codes and still has a highly influential role in their governance.

If you want to discuss the Codes with NUS and/or have suggestions for how they can be improved, make sure and get in touch here.