Data from the latest wave of the GSL Index (2024 Q2) in the UK & Ireland, paints a positive overall picture, highlighting that satisfaction is increasing and students are generally having a more positive overall accommodation experience. This Spring was the GSL Index’s biggest-ever ‘exit’ (Spring) wave, with more than 64,000 responses from students across university and private halls in the UK and Ireland.

Headline findings include:

  • Accommodation is playing an increasingly important role in the decision of where to study. The number of students who reported that accommodation was ‘very important’ when choosing where they would study increased to 59% this Spring from 57% last Spring.
  • The satisfaction gap between private and university halls is closing. Overall satisfaction levels are increasing. This wave there is just a 2% difference in satisfaction levels between private halls and university halls. Private hall satisfaction increased to 78% (from 77% last Spring), while university hall satisfaction climbed from 74% to 76% this Spring.
  • Student wellbeing measures are up this Spring. This Spring, the number of students reporting that they struggle with depression and anxiety has decreased (Table 1). The number of students who report that their accommodation has positively impacted their wellbeing has grown from 59% to 67% (with significant increases across both university and private halls).
  • Cost-of-living pressures continue to be felt by students. For the first time ever, the number of students saying they are struggling with having enough money to get by has overtaken the number of students who say they struggle with budgeting. This Spring, the number of students saying that they struggle with budgeting has dropped from 38% to 33% (Table 1), while the number saying that they struggle with having enough money to get by has increased by 4% to 36%. At the same time, the number of students saying they are struggling to find part-time work has increased by 7%, meaning it is now the second biggest struggle for students after stress and anxiety. This suggests that for many students, the impact of the cost-of-living crisis has moved beyond the need to simply budget better to far more serious circumstances and there is a need for more opportunities for students to find part-time work to get by.
  • More students feel a ‘sense of community’ in their accommodation yet fewer are making friends.The number of students reporting they feel a strong sense of community increased in both university and private halls this year. The increase in the number of students reporting a strong sense of community was more significant in university halls, rising from 53% last Spring to 61% this Spring. However, paradoxically, at the same time, the number of students in both university halls and private halls saying that they have formed close friendships has dropped for both of these measures.
Table 1: Wellbeing Struggles 2024 Q2
Mental Health2023 Q22024 Q2Change
Struggling with stress anxiety48%46%-2%
Struggling with depression22%21%-1%
Work & Finances   
Having enough money to get by32%36%+4%
Finding part-time work32%39%+7%

Interested in learning more?

Global Student Living, in partnership with CUBO, released a report exploring the changing shape of student accommodation in the UK and Ireland at the CUBO Summer Conference held at the Queen’s University Belfast from 12-14 June 2024. The report summarises recent trends in the GSL Index data and explores the student accommodation experience of some of the most vulnerable student cohorts, including those who are part of an ethnic minority, students who have a long-term illness, health problem or disability which limits daily activities or work, students who report themselves as neurodivergent, and those identifying within the LGBTQIA+ spectrum.

Download the report here.

About the GSL Index

The Global Student Living Index (GSL Index) is the world’s leading student insight platform and performance improvement tool for both university and private student accommodation providers. Throughout the year, the GSL Index surveys hundreds of thousands of students across 15 countries and in 15 different languages, on all aspects of their student accommodation experience. 

The Index brings together a range of standardised local, regional and global KPIs alongside bespoke insights from custom questions developed to meet the specific needs of accommodation providers.  With responses from over one million students since its inception, and more than 250 million data points, data from the GSL Index provides rich insight into what students expect from their accommodation and the factors that drive student satisfaction.

To get involved in The Index head to the GSL website: to register.