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News of 16.01.2019

Shared flats now the most common form of accommodation for students, “Hotel Mum” remains popular

It is increasingly rare for students to live alone. Shared flats have outpaced private apartments as the most frequent form of accommodation for students. In 2018, almost one third of students had a room in a shared apartment, while around one in four still lived at home with their parents. These are the findings of a survey of around 150,000 students within the CHE University Ranking.

The proportion of students living in shared flats rose by around 9 percentage points, when compared with 2003. The share of private apartments fell by the same amount. Whereas 15 years ago, one in three students surveyed stated that they lived alone or with a partner in a rental apartment, in 2018, the fraction was only one quarter.

The proportion of students still living at home with their parents has also increased slightly. One-quarter of all students surveyed currently still use “Hotel Mum” as their preferred form of accommodation. The towns of Brühl and Wetzlar top this category at the local level, with almost 70 per cent of students still living at home. There was a slight decrease in the use of student halls (2018: 13.9%), owner-occupied apartments (2018: 1.7%) and subleases (2018: 1.5%), when compared with 2003.

“It seems that the development of places in student halls and the supply of affordable housing have not kept pace with the growth in student numbers in recent years,” stated Cort-Denis Hachmeister, explaining the development of this trend for sharing accommodation or for living at home. Another tentative explanation for this development is that students now start university at a younger age, stated the CHE data analysis expert: “It could be that younger students are now more willing to live at home for longer or to move into a shared apartment with other students, rather than move straight into a place of their own.”

The distance to university is a decisive factor in choosing forms of accommodation. Where students live in the university town, only around 8 per cent still live with their parents, as opposed to 41 per cent in shared flats. The opposite is true where their place of residence is up to 50 kilometres from the university town. In this case, around two-thirds of all students surveyed used “Hotel Mum”, and only one in ten opted for a shared flat.

Taken as a whole, two-thirds of all students lived in a university town in 2018; one-quarter lived within a 50 kilometre radius. Six per cent of all students currently commute more than 50 kilometres to get to their campus.

The publication entitled “Studentisches Wohnen 2003 und 2018” (Student living in 2003 and 2018) was written by Sonja Berghoff and Cort-Denis Hachmeister. The analysis was undertaken on the basis of evaluations of a survey of around 150,000 students in the context of the CHE University Ranking.

Further Information can be found in the publication stated below.

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Cort-Denis Hachmeister
Cort-Denis Hachmeistermehr
Phone: +49 5241 9761-35
Fax: +49 5241 9761-40
Email: cort-denis.hachmeister
Tina Schürmannmehr
Phone: +49 5241 9761-39

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