Supporting Higher Education in London

Student Housing Group

Engage with the GLA to ensure affordable student housing is a priority concern in strategic plans for London.



The GLA Academic Forum includes representatives from London HE institutions, the NUS, local authorities and private developers. The Forum considers the overall housing requirements for students in London and the affordability in the setting of student rents.  This work is incorporated in to the Mayor’s London Plan as part of the strategic priorities for the economic growth of the capital

A policy recognising the need for affordable student rents was presented in ‘Further Alterations to the London Plan’ in 2015, and Supplementary Planning Guidance in March 2016 provided mechanisms for local authorities to assess and affordability of student rents in planning applications for new student housing developments.


The Academic Forum assisted in developing projections for student housing requirements for the next London Plan, and a draft Plan was issued for consultation in Autumn 2017.  A London Higher response was submitted in March 2018 highlighting the need to strengthen definitions for nominations agreements and agreement with the use of alternative activities for student residences during the summer break.

Alongside this work the Forum is examining the broader needs for university estates and HE-led regeneration partnerships with local authorities.  In early 2018 London Higher supported a short project led by the University of London to produce digital maps of current university estates and identify sites for strategic regeneration in priority zones identified by the GLA.  Additional support was provided by the British Property Federation and the GLA.  The maps are in beta phase and are being launched at various meetings and events during 2018 and 2019.

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