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Class of 2020 Highlights

Posted in Student Life by on November 30, 2018

With the rapid expansion of Nido Student in to Europe and beyond, the Class Conference in Milan and its insightful programme came at an ideal time. It provided us with the opportunity to meet with partners old and new, exchange ideas, and learn from industry experts across Europe.


Nido Students presenting on why to invest in a country


The Nido team addressing anxiety


There were some fantastic speakers and sessions which Tony Allen (Nido Student Operations Director) and I were privileged to be able to contribute to.

The key takeaways from the conference for us as were:

  • The urban campus environment is something we should all be working towards creating to empower students and provide them with access to innovation hubs, develop their talent, and contribute to new societal wants and needs
  • There is a shortage of PBSA across mainland Europe and therefore there is opportunity to enter and provide housing solutions for many under-served students
  • Italy is a very interesting market at present; traditionally undersupplied, there is a growing demand for PBSA – it’s ready for providers to enter the market
  • Life is not just about Europe; Australia, China and India in particular have some incredible market fundamentals
  • Generation Z (and younger generations) are seeking more integrated communities with a focus on lifestyle and curated experiences. We should provide sustainable, clever design and use of space which has a positive impact on student wellbeing, creates a community and allows them to socialise, feel at home, and realise their potential
  • There is a rise in mental health issues among students. As providers it is our responsibility to ensure we are providing them and our staff with the service and support they need
  • Sustainability is high on the agenda for architects, developers and operators, but also for students. New innovative housing models are needed to keep cities sustainable and we should be looking for ways to make our buildings and operations more sustainable to have a positive impact on the communities we are in
  • Technology can contribute to creating a complete and connected student experience. Its application in student accommodation needs to be maximised.

Going forward, we will be putting as much of this in to practice as we can, but it was also great to affirm that our Nido Student brand values align with topics high on the student agenda.




There have been many changes in PBSA in the last decade, and this is set to continue, however there is one fundamental which has remained constant since I entered the sector in 2005 – we must continue to put students at the heart of everything we do. They are the leaders of the future, and we have a responsibility whilst they are with us to empower them to help us create the homes and communities they need to accomplish more during their time with us and into their exciting futures.

I’m excited to see how as an industry we all commit to this.

The Class of 2020 team once again organised another great conference. Being a platinum sponsor for the second-year running was brilliant and allowed me to show off my Italian to those at the awards dinner! If you didn’t get a chance to visit our stand and/ or speak to us at the conference, do get in touch and if not, we will see you in Berlin next year. I’m already practicing my German…

– Brian Welsh, CEO, Nido Student