Following the fees must fall campaign, concerned parents started to make plans to send their children overseas to study. 

The ranking of South African universities has generally been on a steady decline since 2014.

The university rankings are not the only thing, the personal safety of one’s children is at the top of a lot of parent’s minds. The riots and class disruptions that were seen in the “Fees must Fall” campaign struck fear into the hearts on many concerned parents.   

Following the fees must fall campaign, concerned parents started to make plans to send their children overseas to study. The ranking of South African universities has generally been on a steady decline since 2014.

The United Kingdom has been a long-time favourite for students studying abroad. Home to 18 of the top 100 global universities, parents worried about how the Fees Must Fall campaign could impact the desirability of it may be a possible destination for South African students. It is not just the education but the promise of a future life aboard.

The typical costs of studying in the UK is circa R360,000 per annum including university fees and accommodation costs. It makes sense to fix costs and income in the same currency, so it the idea of purchasing a student apartment in the UK could be a potential solution. The UK student property sector has been the darling of investment and pension funds; over the past two years’ institutional investors have ploughed in £5.1 billion and £3.1 billion respectively. Perhaps it is the fact that it has the lowest vacancy rate – typically just 1% – and an annuity style income that appeals.

Overseas students tend to choose student cities that they know and have an affinity with. There probably aren’t many South Africans that don’t know about Newcastle. The home of one of the world top global football clubs Newcastle United, who have had a dramatic recent surge back to the premier league with the help of Rafa Benitez. The bustling city centre is the perfect location for students to enjoy University life that stretches from the famous Quayside in the South to the Gate in the North.

The University of Newcastle is consistently ranked in the top 200 universities worldwide and was also ranked 6th in Europe for teaching excellence. It is part of the research-intensive Russell Group and has a great graduate employability record as 96% of their students are employed within 6 months, making it an attractive option for South Africans who wish to stay on and work in the U.K after graduating.

The idea is a simple one, purchase a student apartment in a purpose-built block which is then fully-managed and let to students while reaping the returns. It is perfect for overseas investor looking to steady income.

One such example is Quayside View. Quayside View is in a stunning location, overlooking the famous River Tyne. The development will consist of 126 fully-furnished studio and one-bedroom apartments catered towards the student market. The properties will be finished to the highest specification including flat screen TVs, acoustic flooring, fast broadband and a fully-furnished kitchenette. Furthermore, the communal facilities will include a gymnasium, reception, breakout areas and shared spaces to cultivate a sense of community.


The Stephenson Quarter - in which Quayside View is located, is undergoing rapid regeneration and was recently dubbed "Newcastle's coolest development". So, it is in a perfect place for students who wish to live somewhere vibrant and trendy.

Not only can students easily enjoy the nearby cultural offerings and nightlife that Newcastle boasts, but the university campuses are also close by making it easy for students to get to class. The University of Newcastle as well as Northumbria University are both less than 10 minutes’ walk away.

Properties in Quayside can be purchased from R1.25m and an 8% return is guaranteed for five years. This is a fully-managed investment so it is ideal for South African investors who cannot oversee the day-to-day running.

South Africans should be considering this now while the pound is relatively low in value due to Brexit negotiations, future projection of rand is 5% annual decline relative to the GBP. It is not all doom and gloom in SA as Ramaphosa has pledged to launch an initiative that will create jobs for the youth but without alluding to the cost, the first 139 farms earmarked for expropriation and foreign investors selling of 34.7 billion rands’ worth of SA bonds between January and June 2018 it is questionable where these funds will come from.

As children embark on creating their future careers, parents want to do their outmost to give their children the very best opportunities. It may not be clear which city your child chooses to study in, so it is worth remembering that the income from the property you purchase could be used to cover accommodation costs wherever they live. Parents can only advise their children; they will ultimately decide their plans but securing the ability to pay for overseas study is something parents can source with a pound income though UK student property investments.

Article written by

One Touch Property is an award-winning property broker that has been helping people invest in a wide range of UK property classes including student property, retirement homes and commercial investments for the past 9 years. Arran Kerkvliet, the investment director, is originally from South Africa and has a degree in Economics and property valuation.  His team have a good understanding of how South African clients like to invest; as their name suggests One Touch makes it easy by taking care of every step of the process. Download their UK student accommodation investment guide.

One Touch Investment

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