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Unite Students joins The Class of 2020 – 12 May 2014

10 November 2016

The Class of 2020, the Amsterdam-based non-profit organisation that aims to further the professionalism and knowledge of student housing in Europe and beyond, is proud to announce its partnership with Unite Students. Unite Students is the UK’s leading provider of student accommodation, providing a home for 41,000 students in over 120 properties in 23 of the strongest university towns and cities across the UK. 

The Class of 2020 welcomes Unite Students’ 23 years of experience in developing and managing purpose built student accommodation into its expanding European network. Unite Students is a FTSE 250 company, listed on the London Stock Exchange (UTG). The company has high occupancy rates (97-99%) and recently reported strong reservations performance with 73% of rooms already let for the 2014/15 academic year. In March successfully completed a £100M capital raise to fund a targeted regional development programme, which will see new properties open in Bristol, Newcastle, Aberdeen and Edinburgh in the next few years. 

Unite Students’ partnership with The Class of 2020 illustrates the need for a more mature and professional student housing accommodation industry in Europe. Both organisations will benefit from the experience and knowledge of other partners in the network, and from the events that The Class of 2020 organizes throughout the year: from networking events attracting new investors, to webinars on operational excellence, and the annual Class of 2020 conference in November in Amsterdam. 

Richard Smith, Managing Director of Operations for Unite Students said;

“Accommodation at university plays a key role in the student experience and we are committed to providing a home for students that supports their success, whether defined as personal growth, future employability or academic achievement. 

“Unite Students is a learning organisation and we believe we can deliver the best accommodation for our students by listening to them and to the wider sector. We look forward to working with the Class of 2020 and their partners in order to learn from them and share our knowledge and expertise in the sector.”

With Unite Students, The Class of 2020 will continue to build its organisation, further establishing itself as the leading European platform for student accommodation, higher education and city development.

About The Class of 2020

The Class of 2020 Foundation is an Amsterdam-based non-profit platform and think tank established with a simple goal: To further the professionalism and knowledge of student housing in Europe and beyond. We sponsor research and organize events such as lectures, webinars, network opportunities, and an annual conference. In our annual report and monthly market updates we publish the latest trends and market developments. 

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About Unite Students 

Unite Students is the UK’s leading manager and developer of student accommodation. We provide a home for 41,000 students in over 120 purpose built properties across 23 of the UK’s strongest university towns and cities. We have nearly 1,000 employees and work in partnership with over 50 higher education providers, as well as renting rooms directly to students. In May 2013 Unite Students was awarded Student Accommodation Provider of the Year at Property Week’s RESI Awards.

Our culturally-diverse customers are at the heart of our business and we aim to provide a home for students that supports their success, whether defined as academic achievement, personal growth or employability. Our properties provide high quality, well-located, safe accommodation that is close to university campuses, transport and local amenities. Our rent includes a study bedroom, all bills, insurance, 24-hour security and high speed Wi-Fi throughout our buildings. 

Founded in 1991, Unite Group is a FTSE 250 company listed on the London Stock Exchange. We are pursuing a sustainable growth strategy designed to make the most of the resilient nature of the student accommodation sector. We aim to maintain the strongest brand in the sector and operate the highest quality portfolio through consistent investment in and improvement to our operating platform, highly selective development activity, asset management initiatives and portfolio recycling.

In addition to our wholly owned properties, we are also invested in and operate a small number of specialist funds and joint ventures with institutional investment partners, the largest of which is the £1.35 billion Unite Student Accommodation Fund (USAF).

The Group’s charitable trust, the UNITE Foundation, supports widening access to higher education, integrating students into the community and employability. It provides scholarships for disadvantaged students at seven universities and volunteering opportunities for our students and employees through partner organisations. 

For more information visit our corporate website: or