Posted on 27th of March, 2019

The Class of 2020: Spain Regional Session

This March Christian, Coliving/PBSA VBDM (Vertical Business Development Manager) visited one of our favourite conference series in student housing: The Class of 2020. This time we got to visit sunny Valencia, Spain! ‘Home away from home, hospitality leading the way in PBSA’ was the theme at this particular conference and as always a lot of interesting findings were presented to the audience.

Continue reading and find out how hospitality is leading the way in the Purpose Based Student Accommodation sector in Spain.

‘Hospitality in student housing goes beyond good marketing. It is about the day to day service, support and care that distinguishes providers in and across the Spanish market’ - Jorick Beijer , The Class of 2020

A lot of student housing providers in Spain have been focusing mainly on showcasing their welcoming Spanish culture to students. With hospitality running through the veins of this country it doesn't come to a surprise this is shaping the design, development and operation of their student-housing sector. In Barcelona, Madrid and Valencia student housing has exploded over the years (The growth of the number of students in Spain over the last 10 years is 7.7%!) and has become a real selling point for these cities. During the conference, the trends panel questioned the ‘changing needs’ that occupy students and younger generations in Spanish cities and ‘what trends are representing student living’.

Now the student accommodation market is evolving it goes without saying student housing providers are going above and beyond to attract students. Once a trendy interior and a vibrant community are established something else becomes more important: Hospitality. The hybrid brands that are merging hospitality with PBSA work their way right into the hearts of the students, making them feel at home and therefore more productive. But where exactly do we see the hospitality industry blending into PBSA and what are the key offers that set apart these brands?

Designed to meet the expectation of the millennial-minded and anyone who embraces their attitude to share, spontaneity and experience, Jo&Joe is a new hospitality concept that blends the best of hotel and hostel formats. - Cédric Gobilliard, SVP Lifestyle DivisionAccor

By focusing on student’s feedback, providers are using this data to drive their products, blending hospitality into their accommodations and branding. By setting the right expectations and being able to deliver on hospitality promise, providers and operators attract prospects and retain current students taking into account that the new way of student teaching will be remote rather than on University premises.

Overall, the ranking of the list seems pretty conclusive in terms of which cities are the top destinations for students. Besides the quality of education, affordability and city life to come out on top as the most vital aspects of what makes a city a good student city. As previously mentioned, Berlin and Munich come out on top in this case whilst other cities fall a little short but still with good scores. Germany, Spain, and Austria possess factors that outdo other cities, these countries possess the best student city destinations in Europe.

Student housing is transforming into a service. Focusing on the independence, security and comfort of the students. Rather then a place to lay your head in between studying and chuck some midnight noodles it's about creating experiences; this can be enabled by outstanding staff members, flawless operations and community engagement.

Can’t get enough of the Regional Session in Valencia? Download The Class’ presentation here .

Join us this November for The European Class Conference in Berlin, Germany: The must attend for real estate, higher education and government high-level professionals.

Read our previous blog post and discover which cities made it to the top of the class regarding student appreciation according to a study of The Class of 2020.


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