Alternative PBSA quarantine demand for international students

Steve Lumley·9 June 2021·4 min read
Alternative PBSA quarantine demand for international students

Universities and student accommodation providers in the UK are calling for the government to introduce alternative quarantine arrangements for international students this summer.

They say that quarantine hotels will not cope with the number of students coming to the UK from 'red list' countries, but purpose-built student accommodation (PBSA) providers can cope.

And universities have been offering to help international students financially who are coming from these red list countries by paying for the cost of their quarantine.

However, the universities say that from September these quarantine arrangements are unclear, and a decision needs to be made by the government on how the influx of international students will be handled.

The cost of a government-approved quarantine hotel for those from a red list country is £1,750.

Now, it has been revealed that PBSAs are willing to quarantine students who are coming from red list countries.

PBSA accommodation partners have the capacity

Most PBSA accommodation partners have stated they have the capacity to help and a number have met with university representatives to highlight to authorities that international students can quarantine in managed accommodation and still meet government protocols.

The managing director of Study Group, James Pitman, also told one website that the student numbers will be an issue.

He says that around 50,000 students could be coming from India which is on the red list and the quarantine hotels will simply not have the capacity to deal with that influx.

A Department of Health and Social Care spokesman said that the government has 'thousands of hotel rooms' that are available for further demand and agreements are in place for the summer.

The managing director of Accommodation for Students, Simon Thompson, said: "This is a situation that needs to be closely monitored and the alternative quarantine offering from the PBSA sector is one that needs to be looked at very carefully by the government."

Various universities have been offering financial help to their international students, for example, the University of Salford is offering up to £750 for those who are starting summer courses there.

The University of Lincoln says it will reimburse students for their entire quarantine costs after enrolling - with a free transfer service from their quarantine hotel to Lincoln.

The University of Bristol has also offered to reimburse international students for their quarantine stay.

London's next property hotspot revealed

Meanwhile, one real estate firm has identified an area in central London that could be the next property hotspot.

Knight Frank says the W2 postcode will soon enjoy landmark redevelopments and the arrival of Crossrail at Paddington station.

They say that properties in the postcode are undervalued currently when compared with neighbouring areas.

The firm's head of residential development research, Oliver Knight, said: "The pandemic has underscored the value of residential areas close to open spaces and parks. Combined with the transformation of the area, W2 is a neighbourhood that stands to benefit."