Student housing and coliving CEO’s call for radical reform to resolve housing crisis and advocates ‘Blended Living’ as an innovative solution for the next generation of global citizens.

  • Investors set to deploy €25 billion into ‘blended living’ globally in the next five years
  • The Class Conference foresees further blending of residential typologies as mobility and technology in cities blur lines between living, working and learning
  • Outdated planning codes and anti-investment policies hinder innovation and development of much needed housing solutions

On the 7th of November 2019, think tank The Class of 2020 hosted the world’s largest student housing & coliving conference in Berlin, titled Blended Living. 

Around 800 industry experts, city government and higher education institution officials discussed the challenges and opportunities that blurring boundaries create for the future of living, working and learning.

University cities are predicted to be transformed by the co-revolution. Single purpose real estate for students and young talent are expected to become integrated in mixed-use developments with flexible accommodation and public uses, catering to a wide range of talent. From Berlin to London, New York City to Shanghai, micro housing, coliving, and coworking are dominating discussions around transformations in the way of living, working and learning globally. The Class of 2020’s conference in Berlin and its new annual Trend Report 2020, which was released during the event provide the most urgent, relevant and important insights into the housing crisis and possible solutions.

Looking ahead to the year 2020 and beyond, delegates shared the urgency, relevance and importance of finding new solutions as global housing crisis intensifies especially in the urban districts. The conference highlights community-based ‘blend’ as an innovation and a new phenomenon, while identifying the key drivers influencing how students and young talent aspires to live, work and learn together.

Oke Hauser, Creative Lead at MINI Living highlighted as a keynote speaker of The Class Conference 2019 shared

Leaders from all over the globe were here in Berlin with focus on the same problem: How to reinvent housing and find better solutions - MINI Living’s approach being the creative use of space, working with a small footprint in mind they use their design expertise and focus on experience.

David WeißertHead of Economic Policy Unit, Berlin Senate Department for Economics, Energy and Public Enterprises and Burkhard VolbrachtHead of Unit Talent, Berlin Partner for Business and Technology emphasised 

Cities also need to cater for talent moving to cities and housing needs to keep up with demand – Berlin is attracting on average around 50,000 people per year which means in the past five years the talent influx in Berlin totaled 250,000, which is equivalent to the inhabitant size of Eindhoven. Responding to the demand for affordable housing solutions is one of the city’s priorities.”


Paloma Lisboa, Director of Operations at Kings College London suggested

“Universities have the opportunity to be instigators of change in many ways. Providing high quality accommodation that enables students to connect with their local community is certainly one of them and in many ways a key part of urban regeneration”

 Ryan Manton, Programme Director of The Class 2020 explained 

“The established investment asset classes are now blending with new models. Coliving and hybrid concepts which are the examples of ‘blended living’ typologies’, have proven to work and investors are ready to deploy significant amount to counteract urban housing crisis”

Charlie MacGregor, CEO and Founder of The Student Hotel agreed with this:

Blended living is the reality and it is all about community. We shouldn’t really label a student, a young professional, or a hotel guest or an older person. They are all our guests. They are all welcome in our communities.

Daniel Gorzawski, Managing Director at Harrison Street shared 

The steady increase of student’s international mobility is driving a lot of the demand for high quality housing that offers convenience, flexibility and a community experience at affordable rents in cities that are attractive to young people. The significantly lower provision rates in Europe compared to the USA demonstrate the undersupply in European cities and hybrid housing models offer the opportunity for innovative solutions”.

Brian Welsh, CEO of Nido Student added 

“Student housing sector hasn’t been operational for that long. It’s really important that we spend time together as a sector to understand how to evolve, how to challenge each other, how to create a right sense of competition and how to stimulate everyone in the sector to do better.”

With almost 20 panel discussions throughout the day held on three stages simultaneously, The Class Conference 2019 clustered multiple approaches to all the above challenges and opportunities into 5 Key takeaways:

  1. Experience vs. ownership - There is a whole new generation of global citizens growing up in the new economy, where experience is valued over ownership.
  2. No one size fits all - Operators and providers cannot copy-paste a successful model and expect it to work in another place. Each community is unique in its needs, wants, and demands.
  3. Community is key - In the past, all that was needed for tenants was to have a roof over their heads. Now, they seek a like-minded community that fulfils their needs.
  4. Reform outdated policies - Planning and building regulations need to adapt to encourage innovative solutions to the housing crisis – high quality design and shared spaces enable more efficient use of buildings
  5. Innovation and Tech-centered - Technology is not an add-on anymore but a full cycle driving force: from design and conceptualisation to construction and maintenance.

You may also be interested in these articles:

Register, Login or Login with your Social Media account:


Newsroom Activity

Solvendis added a new event 9 hours

Effective Self Assessment & Improvement Planning (Zoom...

The self-assessment process is, further, the key way in which providers can measure the effectiveness of their provision against the EIF. Under the...

  • Friday, 07 August 2020 10:00 AM
  • Zoom Conferencing

Latest Education News

Further Education News

The FE News Channel gives you the latest education news and updates on emerging education strategies and the #FutureofEducation and the #FutureofWork.

Providing trustworthy and positive Further Education news and views since 2003, we are a digital news channel with a mixture of written word articles, podcasts and videos. Our specialisation is providing you with a mixture of the latest education news, our stance is always positive, sector building and sharing different perspectives and views from thought leaders, to provide you with a think tank of new ideas and solutions to bring the education sector together and come up with new innovative solutions and ideas.

FE News publish exclusive peer to peer thought leadership articles from our feature writers, as well as user generated content across our network of over 3000 Newsrooms, offering multiple sources of the latest education news across the Education and Employability sectors.

FE News also broadcast live events, podcasts with leading experts and thought leaders, webinars, video interviews and Further Education news bulletins so you receive the latest developments in Skills News and across the Apprenticeship, Further Education and Employability sectors.

Every week FE News has over 200 articles and new pieces of content per week. We are a news channel providing the latest Further Education News, giving insight from multiple sources on the latest education policy developments, latest strategies, through to our thought leaders who provide blue sky thinking strategy, best practice and innovation to help look into the future developments for education and the future of work.

In May 2020, FE News had over 120,000 unique visitors according to Google Analytics and over 200 new pieces of news content every week, from thought leadership articles, to the latest education news via written word, podcasts, video to press releases from across the sector.

We thought it would be helpful to explain how we tier our latest education news content and how you can get involved and understand how you can read the latest daily Further Education news and how we structure our FE Week of content:

Main Features

Our main features are exclusive and are thought leadership articles and blue sky thinking with experts writing peer to peer news articles about the future of education and the future of work. The focus is solution led thought leadership, sharing best practice, innovation and emerging strategy. These are often articles about the future of education and the future of work, they often then create future education news articles. We limit our main features to a maximum of 20 per week, as they are often about new concepts and new thought processes. Our main features are also exclusive articles responding to the latest education news, maybe an insight from an expert into a policy announcement or response to an education think tank report or a white paper.

FE Voices

FE Voices was originally set up as a section on FE News to give a voice back to the sector. As we now have over 3,000 newsrooms and contributors, FE Voices are usually thought leadership articles, they don’t necessarily have to be exclusive, but usually are, they are slightly shorter than Main Features. FE Voices can include more mixed media with the Further Education News articles, such as embedded podcasts and videos. Our sector response articles asking for different comments and opinions to education policy announcements or responding to a report of white paper are usually held in the FE Voices section. If we have a live podcast in an evening or a radio show such as SkillsWorldLive radio show, the next morning we place the FE podcast recording in the FE Voices section.

Sector News

In sector news we have a blend of content from Press Releases, education resources, reports, education research, white papers from a range of contributors. We have a lot of positive education news articles from colleges, awarding organisations and Apprenticeship Training Providers, press releases from DfE to Think Tanks giving the overview of a report, through to helpful resources to help you with delivering education strategies to your learners and students.


We have a range of education podcasts on FE News, from hour long full production FE podcasts such as SkillsWorldLive in conjunction with the Federation of Awarding Bodies, to weekly podcasts from experts and thought leaders, providing advice and guidance to leaders. FE News also record podcasts at conferences and events, giving you one on one podcasts with education and skills experts on the latest strategies and developments.

We have over 150 education podcasts on FE News, ranging from EdTech podcasts with experts discussing Education 4.0 and how technology is complimenting and transforming education, to podcasts with experts discussing education research, the future of work, how to develop skills systems for jobs of the future to interviews with the Apprenticeship and Skills Minister.

We record our own exclusive FE News podcasts, work in conjunction with sector partners such as FAB to create weekly podcasts and daily education podcasts, through to working with sector leaders creating exclusive education news podcasts.

Education Video Interviews

FE News have over 700 FE Video interviews and have been recording education video interviews with experts for over 12 years. These are usually vox pop video interviews with experts across education and work, discussing blue sky thinking ideas and views about the future of education and work.


FE News has a free events calendar to check out the latest conferences, webinars and events to keep up to date with the latest education news and strategies.

FE Newsrooms

The FE Newsroom is home to your content if you are a FE News contributor. It also help the audience develop relationship with either you as an individual or your organisation as they can click through and ‘box set’ consume all of your previous thought leadership articles, latest education news press releases, videos and education podcasts.

Do you want to contribute, share your ideas or vision or share a press release?

If you want to write a thought leadership article, share your ideas and vision for the future of education or the future of work, write a press release sharing the latest education news or contribute to a podcast, first of all you need to set up a FE Newsroom login (which is free): once the team have approved your newsroom (all content, newsrooms are all approved by a member of the FE News team- no robots are used in this process!), you can then start adding content (again all articles, videos and podcasts are all approved by the FE News editorial team before they go live on FE News). As all newsrooms and content are approved by the FE News team, there will be a slight delay on the team being able to review and approve content.

 RSS IconRSS Feed Selection Page