Loughborough University
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An integrated perspective of student housing supply and demand: sustainability and socio-economic differences

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posted on 2015-11-04, 14:07 authored by Alexis Alamel
This thesis explores the dynamic interface of supply and demand for student housing within the context of national sustainability policy and planning in the UK. These interconnections are increasingly important given the tripling of students tuition fees, which can alter the residential expectations of students, as well as implementing policy schemes that aim to retrofit the most energy inefficient dwellings. Using the university town of Loughborough as a case study, findings are presented from a mixed-methods research comprised of an online survey, semi-structure interviews, and focus groups. The thesis makes several original contributions to academic knowledge of student geographies. First, the discussion shows that the profile of student housing in the UK has dramatically changed which is underpinned by numerous drivers tied to changing policies, reforms, and reconfigurations of students residential expectations. Second, the thesis stresses the importance of examining the sustainability challenges unfolding in the housing sector and the ways these dynamics impact upon students residential experiences. Third, by establishing the first-ever student housing taxonomy, it is demonstrated that physical and sustainable discrepancies are evident in the types of accommodation that are supplied to students, allowing for a broader investigation of the student housing stock in the UK. Fourth, it is contended that the energy efficiency of a dwelling has a limited impact on students energy expenditure, indicating that students manage their energy consumption in various ways. In addition, it is advocated that the fuel poverty (FP) calculation framework could usefully be revised and adapted to more effectively identify students in FP conditions. Fifth, it is ascertained that students finances tend to have limited effects on their selection of housing. It is concluded that advancing the understanding of sustainability issues entangled in the student housing sector is crucial for progressing knowledge in student geographies.





  • Social Sciences


  • Geography and Environment


© Alexis Alamel

Publisher statement

This work is made available according to the conditions of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International (CC BY-NC-ND 4.0) licence. Full details of this licence are available at: https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0/

Publication date



A Doctoral Thesis. Submitted in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the award of Doctor of Philosophy of Loughborough University.


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