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Here’s why Indian students in UK are struggling for accommodation

With a growing influx of Indian students pursuing higher education in the UK, the issue of student accommodation has become a prominent challenge. Indian government data reveals a substantial increase in Indian students studying in the United Kingdom, surging from 36,612 in 2019 to 44,901 in 2020 and a remarkable 77,855 in 2021. In 2022, a total of 55,465 Indian students held student visas in the UK.*


*June 2023 saw the UK’s Home Office granting a total of 1,42,848 student visas to Indian nationals.*


*However, international students in the UK face a dearth of affordable housing. Shradha Chakravorty, a recent graduate of the University College London (UCL), shared her experience, recounting a rented flat in London’s King’s Cross area, which cost £299 per person per week.*


*Escalating rents and limited availability have forced some Indian students into overcrowded living conditions, where the number of occupants exceeds the comfortable capacity of their accommodations. Arun Patric, an MSc student in supply chain management, shared his experience of the first flat he found, originally designed for five occupants but housing eight, with shared bathroom and kitchen facilities.*


*The housing struggle has been compounded by financial challenges, as part-time work opportunities are limited. Simran Helal, who began her MA in Advertising and Marketing at the University of Leeds, spent nearly six months searching for suitable accommodation, facing fierce competition with houses being quickly snatched up.*


*Additionally, many student accommodations in the UK require a UK-based guarantor, a requirement that some international students cannot meet. In such cases, students are compelled to pay the entire tenancy rent upfront, representing a substantial financial burden.*


*The Higher Education Policy Institute (HEPI), the UK’s independent higher education think tank, has noted a decrease in the availability of new student rooms this year. Some cities, such as Swansea and Lincoln, known for their large student populations, present challenges as local homeowners prefer tenants who are working individuals. In some instances, bias against certain nationalities has influenced rental decisions.*


*While the housing crisis remains a pressing concern for Indian students in the UK, experts believe that it is unlikely to deter them from pursuing their educational goals in the nation. Indian students’ adaptability and resourcefulness enable them to navigate these housing challenges. The recent increase in visa fees is also a consideration, impacting the budget allocated for studying abroad.*


*Although concerns have arisen about the UK’s motives behind the visa fee hike, experts suggest that it is not intended to discourage international students. Instead, it is regarded as a separate financial consideration, distinct from the housing crisis, which is primarily driven by issues of availability and affordability.*


*In summary, Indian students in the UK confront housing and financial challenges. However, their determination and adaptability continue to make the UK an appealing destination for higher education.*

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