Market Update Western Europe

Virtual Summit AT & CEE

June 18th, 2020


The region is home to nearly 2.2 million students combined. Many come from surrounding Ukraine, Belarus, and Slovakia for English-taught courses or from Germany and other parts of Western Europe for attractive value-for-money propositions. With the impact of COVID-19 relatively contained in Central and Eastern Europe compared with Western European counterparts, will international student numbers stay stable through this crisis? What will the impact of the current crisis be on the region’s nascent student accommodation market? How can we work together to foster the full potential of Central and Eastern Europe’s university-cites?

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Armon Bar-Tur


BaseCamp Student

Gary Clarke



John Dishman

Pro-Vice-Chancellor CEO

Coventry University

Karl Wöber


MODUL University Vienna

Piotr Sawicki

Board Member

Pracownia SAWAWA

Samuel Vetrak



Thomas Lebinger

Head of the Accommodation Brokerage Department

OeAD Student Housing Austria

Thomas Wuensche

Senior Director DE & AT


Yoony Kim

Managing Director

The Class Foundation

Bringing together the intertwined industries, including higher education, real estate, and European university cities.


  1. Quick recovery: The region was least affected by COVID-19 in Europe and will likely be among the first to reopen, with many universities opting to teach on campus again. The majority(34%) of polled participants think international student numbers will remain stable.
  2. Domestic focus: 69% ofpolled participants believe PBSA players will need to focus on domestic students. International students in CEE already tend to be intraregional,meaning fewer issues with visas or travel restrictions can be anticipated in the fall.
  3. Unfamiliar dynamics: compared to other European markets (i.e. UK, NL, ES) foreign HEI and PBSA investors are required to do a deep dive into legal and construction regulations and will face language barriers upon entering the region.
  4. Branch campuses: With the UK government cutting access to loans for EU domicile students to study in the UK,there are huge opportunities to bring UK degrees and English taught programmes to CEE through establishing branch campuses in vibrant student cities.
  5. CEE remains the next big thing: Taking into account the greater interest amongst international students, a quick recovery from the pandemic, and the shortage is private beds, we see strong potential for university-cities in the region.


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