Real estate returns impact International postsecondary benchmark

BOCOM_Sea_Turtle_IndexMany Canadian postsecondary education institutes have identified international students as a priority to increase enrolments over the coming five to ten years. Today, an important market– and one that will continue to grow – is China as it experience growth in population and wealth.

Bank of Communications teamed up with the Economist Intelligence Unit to create a guide for parents seeking the right university for their son or daughter, rating key cities around the world for educational standards but a range of other factors – including real estate returns. This “Sea Turtle Index” addresses the globalization of postsecondary education and factors ratings of 80 cities by the overall potential rerun on an undergraduate education at institutions in those cities. (full PDF 2013 Bank of Communications Sea Turtle Index)

College and university education is an investment in their of son or daughters future. Real estate returns – specifically investment in off-campus student housing – are important as people want a bolthole outside their home country. This is done to avoid political risk and help with the overall challenges surrounding finding accommodations in a foreign country.

Hong Kong, New York, Tokyo and Toronto top this real estate index. In the United States, some other cities like Phoenix, Columbus, Jacksonville and Pittsburgh might produce interesting results given their proportion of students in their communities. In Canada, Montreal, Vancouver and Hamilton were ranked alongside Toronto. Other Canadian cities with large portions of students such as Ottawa, Kingston and particularly Waterloo should produce healthier real estate returns on investments.

If a university education is truly an investment in the future, factoring in local real estate investment, work experience, financial returns and social experience are important elements in determining the best school. These factors are all included in the Sea Turtle Index.

In the United States and Canada, as off-campus student housing and developments reaches maturity; near campus neighbourhoods welcoming foreign investments could strengthen the international reputation of North American postsecondary institutes.

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