The Class Trend Report: Fast-Forwarding Our Future
Edition 2020

Chapter 1
Our Journey to Graduation

This past decade, we’ve seen extraordinary growth and change to the landscape of the shared living industry. Visionary investors, developers, and operators have introduced flexible and community-oriented living concepts for global talent to markets across Europe. Billions of equity and institutional funds have been deployed on campus, housing projects, and regenerated districts. At The Class of 2020, our lifelong learning prevails as we reflect on organization milestones and the biggest game changing trends and innovations that have helped our industry progress.


The milestone moments from The Class of 2020’s founding to our Graduation year.

Chapter 2
Blended Living

At an accelerating rate, the ways in which people live, work and learn are changing and the spaces in which we call ‘home’ are adapting to keep up with the pace. For the built environment, flexibility and multi-use of resources is the new normal. The digitalisation of learning models puts the very premise of the urban campus at risk; what does this mean for the future of university-cities? Behavioural changes call for a total spatial redesign and real estate players must be on board or otherwise risk falling behind.

Chapter 3
Global Talent Mobility

Universities have stepped up investment in internationalisation and the student learning experience. In return, global talent mobility has accelerated vibrant city development and economic success. With the pandemic restricting mobility for the foreseeable future, how have the changed parameters affected where international students and young professionals (want to) live? Students highly value the campus experience, but mobile restrictions may take their ‘home away from home’ on an alternative route to finding their destination.

Chapter 4
Policy: Rules of the Game

Policies have not kept pace with the speed of change in the way people are living, creating challenges and restrictions for investors, developers and operators when it comes to experimenting and applying innovative solutions. Due to the differences in national, municipal and industry levels, adjustments are rather complex. What are the innovative solutions and next steps for our community to take? Industry experts are called upon to share the best policy practices across Europe that can help leverage shared living models.

Chapter 5
Taking the Long-Term View

Forward-thinking industry practices and innovations are ensuring the long-term benefits of shared living models. As an industry with aspirations for long-term development, our current business decisions have added pressure to expedite recovery from the current crisis, prevent the loss of progress and reshape the future for the better. Sustainability is no longer considered an add-on feature; residents are more conscious of environmental impact and therefore sustainable initiatives need to be embedded in all living models for added resilience.

Chapter 6
The Best in Class

The Best in Class Awards were established in 2016 in order to recognize, highlight, and promote companies and initiatives at the forefront of student and shared living, working, and learning. In a young and learning industry, we find it important to honour thought leadership and encourage the exchange of bright ideas. We’re excited to share with you the top of the class – our industry-voted MVPs.

Chapter 7
Back to the Future

Reflecting on the past can help spearhead valuable change for the future. In our graduation year, we are seeing our industry graduating from education to learning without boundaries, from spaces to solutions, from university cities to talent hubs. What does this mean for The Class of 2020 and the life-long learners to come? In this chapter, we are proud to share our community’s thought-leadership and visionary forecasts for the next 10 years.


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