Student Property Market In Chester Education Essay

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There have been no studies on student housing and the local market in Chester, so the research highlights a niche to be investigated. The University of Chester is a relatively new compared to other institutions around the country. It has been a full University since 2003 and was a college of higher education before that. There were approximately 5,000 students throughout the 90's and early 00's during the college of higher education period, but the number began to grow after the awarding of full University status in 2003. The number of students at the University Of Chester today stands at approximately 15,000, with 11,000 being undergraduates and 4000 being post graduates. There are a number of reasons for the rapid growth of the University, such as a £10 million investment into building a modern campus.

It would appear that there is a gap in the research of the student property market in Chester. The Guardian newspaper reported that the applications that the University received for entry in 2005 had grown by 48% on the previous year's figures. This indicates that the University is growing each year and receiving more applications each year, which ultimately creates an accommodation issue. Student accommodation is a necessity for all students away from home but offers limited options to a lot of students in terms of quality of living and price limitations. The justification of the research is to provide students with information which may help them select and understand the student property market better.

The research that is being undertaken will be Questionnaires that will be completed by all current University students, this will mean age ranges will be from 18-25+, as there is no limit to what age you can come to University at. The Questionnaire will be designed in a way so that it explores a number of angles of student's facts, figures and feelings towards their housing market. This section will show how the primary research is going to be achieved.

The researcher is pleased to be able to study others work in order to gain background info and to aid their primary research. It is useful because it is an independent study which allows comparisons between different work. The reason why the comparisons are important are that secondary research could be false or bias, which would lead to misrepresentation of information. Fisher (2007) explains a number of points which researchers should follow when writing their literature review:

It has been investigated by a certain researchers about where student accommodation was mainly stationed originally. Haselgrove (1994) explains that until the mid nineties, student accommodation was mainly provided by traditional (red brick) universities as an integral part of their own development. She continues to explain that the quality of that accommodation was regarded a lot higher than the majority of modern day accommodation. Alongside this information she includes information regarding the role of the private sector within student accommodation, stating that in the mid nineties the private sector housed 65% of all students, and had grown rapidly since 1989 to serve the student market. The student market was one of the few areas of expansion during the recession of the 1980s; with occupiers not being able to sell at this time rented their houses out to students. The criticisms of Haselgrove's literature are the age of it, with it being published in 1994 but a lot of the content is from the late 1980s.

There has been substantial research on 'new build' accommodation, with the brunt being completed in the early 1990's. Oxley and Golland (1993) report that a recent study of 'new build' accommodation that the average rent per room was £36-£40 per week, but 26% of all rents were £41-£50 per week. They also report that the most common letting agreements were 39-40 weeks of the year, but 26% of new development letting is offering 52 week agreements. Oxley and Golland's literature is useful because it presents financial figures for student prices; however it is fairly dated by today's standards.

Universities are non-profit organisations, which means they do not operate to make profit, but to generate funds which will run the business (Shaw 2002). Davies, Preston and Wilson are the authors of the Journal article; Elements of Not-for-Profit Services: A Case of University Student Accommodation (1993). The journal discusses the issues Universities face in generating funds to run the institution, and to invest for development. They also discuss the means of income for the University, such as tuition fees, accommodation, admin fees etc. The criticisms of the work are that it is general rather than discussing each aspects in depth.

2.4 - Investment

The Association of University directors of estates and British Universities finance officers is a governing body for all of the directors for University estates, which includes accommodation. In (1993) they conducted research forecasting that from 1990-95, institutions will have spent an estimated £1 billion on building or developing new student accommodation. Thus raising the number of students they house from 148,000 to 248,000. This research provides an idea of how Universities planned to spend money in the early 90's. The Financial Times Adviser (2009) produced an article describing Investing in student property remains a "sound" investment despite the current environment of falling house prices and rental income. It draws on research produced within the student population of Edinburgh, and explains that even with the recent increase in supply of rented accommodation there is still a shortage of student flats. The firm has highlighted that, by purchasing a student flat on a buy-to-let mortgage, parents are likely see a net long-term gain on the property, as they will be able to sell it for an eventual profit in the future.

The Student Loans Company Website (2009). The Student Loans Company administers government-funded loans and grants to students throughout the United Kingdom. The website provides information on how much loan/grants the students are entitled to depending on their families' income. The minimum loan a student will receive is £3,145 if their parents earn over £60,000. For students entering HE in September 2008 the income thresholds for maintenance grant support were revised giving a full or partial grant to a higher proportion of the eligible population. The income threshold for full grant entitlement was increased from £17,910 in academic year 2007/08 to £25,000 in academic year 2008/09. The income threshold for the minimum partial grant was increased from £38,330 to £60,005 respectively. This means a larger portion of the student population will have more money available to spend. It also provides information on when students have to pay it back and at what rate. This is relevant to investment because its how the majority of student accommodation and general student living is funded. The website is very helpful for students and researchers trying to find out information regarding student finances. It is clearly laid out and divided into sections regarding various types of loan and grants.

Peter Cohen (1993) is the author of journal article titled 'Funding University Student Accommodation'. His research suggests that the explosion in demand by universities and colleges for student accommodation is one of the very welcome "green shots" in an otherwise very depressed UK property market. It examines how effectively new demand has been catered for by the private-sector finance on offer. It concludes that in a troubled market universities and colleges can negotiate attractive rental prices for themselves. His research was completed in 1993 when there was less student accommodation around, however there are more Universities and more students today, so the issue still exists.

2.5 - Inflation within student finance

The student rental market is fairly strong in terms of investment, because students will always need accommodation and pay the going rate. Buss (1993) reports that it has been estimated that student rental within University accommodation increased by an average of 35% between 1989 and 1994, compared with only 5% in the private sector. The criticisms of Buss's work are that it is out dated, however it is useful to analyse the statistics of how student rental costs were inflated in comparison with the private sector costs. However, Shipman (2008) reports that The cost of living for higher education students in the UK has dropped dramatically in the October Student Price Index (SPI). In October, when CPI inflation slowed to 4.5% (from its peak of 5.2% in September), the OU Student Price Index for full-time students in England dropped almost two points to 4.7%, from 6.4% in September. This indicates that the student market is in line with the current economy of that time, so for example the current recession has had an affect on student living costs, bringing those down too.

The NatWest Student Living Index (2008) (See Appendix A) is an index researched and created by the NatWest bank regarding student's average costs and spending habits around the UK. It is published every year and is used as a reference point for a lot of research. The bank are a large stakeholder in students as the majority of student banking is via themselves. The index ranks Britain's major university towns by plotting average student expenditure on living and housing costs against income from term-time employment. The research, conducted in 26 UK university towns this year resulted shows that the average Plymouth student spends £217 per week on living and housing costs, but manages to offset these costs in part, with impressive weekly earnings of £115 from part-time work. At the other end of the scale, the average student in Exeter spends £294 per week, but makes just £67 from term-time employment, one of the lowest amounts of all the university towns and cities surveyed. The index is a very useful source of information for student spending, however it only covers a random quota of 26 university towns, which has resulted in Chester never participating as of yet.

2.6 - Quality of Accommodation

There is always speculation and debate as to the quality of student accommodation, and the general consensus is that it is substandard housing. Bernard G.W. (2003) is the author of a handbook for students about studying at University. His research explains that a lot of student accommodation is not of great quality, however he advises that students who are offered rooms in halls of residences to keenly accept, mainly due to the social aspects they bring. His work suggests that students are often not too bothered with the poor quality of their accommodation, but they care about social aspects more. The handbook is a general guide advising students on what to do at their life before and throughout University. The criticisms are that the book is more advisory rather than factual, however it does feature appropriate research in parts.

2.7 - Reasons for choosing accommodation

Carver K and Martin G (1989) conducted research about students at the University Of Manchester from 1986 - 1989. They found that students chose their accommodation according to (in order of priority):

Safety and location of Area

The other occupants

The housing cost.

They explain that the lack of research on this topic shows that students are concerned primarily about avoiding isolation. They like living with other students in a safe environment with a limited level of comfort, they do no want (or probably cannot afford) lavish service provision. The positives of Carver and Martin's research are that although it is 20 years old, the principles are still the same. Students are provided with a lot of financial backing from the state and often parents, so they look for these aspects of housing first.

2.8 - Private Rental

Fitzhugh K. (2004) discusses the Pro's and Cons of renting privately for student accommodation.

Advantages: Rent is slightly cheaper, More privacy and less noisy people around, Freedom to come and go as you please and to house guests

Disadvantages: Can be further away from campus, Possible dodgy landlords, You can be in charge of bills and be landed with big payments, Possibly too quiet during the holidays.

Fitzhugh's work is a guide explaining all the aspects of University that students will encounter. Her work can be criticised in terms of research - it features her experiences often rather than researched theories. However she does provide some good analysis and raises common issues within student housing.

The Association of University directors of estates and British Universities finance officers Conference Presentation (2009) as previously mentioned are the governing body for University estates. The association has a yearly conference to discuss current and future issues that Universities face, and in 2009 a number of future issues that is being faced are Student Numbers. The section entitled 'A catalogue of Uncertainties' highlights that student numbers are rising every year, which proves an issue when the local student property market has reached it's capacity. The presentation is up to date as it was created in 2009 by an association that governs the estates management of Universities nationwide. However it only goes into a limited amount of detail in the topic, which creates a content issue.

2.9 - Local Rental

The student rental market as previously mentioned is prominent growing market due to the increasing numbers of student. The following literature is the information new and current students use in order to locate and rent their accommodation from. University Of Chester 'Student Accommodation Guide' (2009-10) (See Appendix 2) is the main piece of literature that the University hands out to prospective students, usually after a visit or tour around the campus. The booklet provides figures of all University owned accommodation, how much they cost and the lease period they entail. It is a piece of factual literature that provides all the relevant information needed.

The University of Chester Student Accommodation Website (2009) is the online source of information for new students to use to determine which accommodation they will be in, and learn about the local area. It is useful for a researcher because it builds a picture of how prospective students prepare and arrive for University. It is accessible for students who have not received the prospectus of accommodation guide.

The University of Chester 'Private Sector List' (2009). The guide is a list of all the local properties that are available for student rental, and a list of all the local student letting agencies. The difference with the private sector list is that it accommodates for 2nd,3rd and 4th year students more so than University owned property. The University do not own the properties on this list.

Abbey Rentals' Chester Student Property Catalogue (2009). Abbey Rentals are a local letting agency with half of their business being student letting. They own a portfolio of properties around the local area furnished for students needs. The catalogue provides photographs, availability info and prices of all their properties. It is regularly updated for students to check whether there is still accommodation available for them. The accommodation figures from the Universities own properties and the private sectors show differences. Fitzhugh's work states that University owned accommodation generally costs more than private sector, and this is the case in Chester has proven in the above literature.

The literature on student accommodation that exists is mostly from the early 1990's, which can prove a problem for a researcher when trying to find theory and research to back up their own work. The researcher is aware that this work is valuable, but is also aware that more up to date literature is important to the reliability and validity of this study (Litwin M.S., 1995). A substantial amount of the up to date research is online and more modern mediums as opposed to books. Books take a number of years to be published so there would be a delay for modern day print.

2.10 - Research and Data Collection

This section of the Literature review refers to theory and literature relating to Research methods and Data Collection.

Flick (1995) explains the importance of the research question and how it needs to be laid down from the outset. He explains that 'formulating' the research question is a central step and essentially determines the success of the qualitative research. Then he proceeds to provide a flow diagram of research questions which structure the research process:

Formulation of the overall question

Formulation of Specific Questions

Formulation of sensitising concepts

Selection of research groups which will study the question

Selection of appropriate designs and methods

Evaluation and reformulation of the specific research questions

Collection of Data

Evaluation and reformulation of the specific research questions

Analysing the data

Generalisation and evaluation of the analyses

Formulation of the findings.

Flick's theory and diagram is a good set of data for a researcher because it provides evaluative questions to ask themselves in order to cover every variable.

The main method of obtaining information from student is via a survey sampling. Scholfield W. (1996) explains what Survey sampling is and defines the various approaches towards it. He also explains the aim of sampling is to save time and effort whilst maintaining consistent and unbiast representations of the population. Schofield's work is a good reference point when defining and analysing survey sampling. The criticisms of his work are that he can often go into too much detail when only a relatively complex survey is needed. The method of survey sampling that is being used is the questionnaire. Brace I (2009) explains that a Questionnaire's role is to provide a standardised interview across concerned subjects. He also defines it as a medium of remote conversation between researcher and respondent. Brace's research is a good basis for this questionnaire because it provides a guide of how to implement it successfully. It is written in a clear format and is a good reference point for researchers.

Bourque L.B. & Fielder E.P. (1995) explain what self administered questionnaires' are and their role in society today. They proceed to discuss the various types of self administered questionnaires from supervised to group, but the most relevant for this research is unsupervised questionnaires. This means no researcher will be supervising the completion of a questionnaire in order to not affect the outcome. Alongside this they provide the advantages and disadvantages of self administered questionnaires:

Advantages: Cost, Larger Samples, Wider coverage within a sample population, Sensitive topics

Disadvantages: Response rates, Literacy and Language

This research is relevant because it defines what self administered questionnaires are and what their role is for the research. It also makes the researcher aware of what *.

It is important for a researcher to ensure that when they are completing their research, they take every step possible to make it reliable and valid. Litwin M.S. (1995) discusses the reliability and validity of surveys. He says that research needs to be reliable and valid for it to possess any credibility. Then proceeds to explain that to ensure reliability, validity must be determined first. Included in his research are frameworks for analysing validity/reliability, and methods of retesting if it is needed. Litwin's work is important because it helps to determine whether a piece of research is worth using. If a piece of research was not valid or reliable, he provides a guide of how to correct and if needs be retest the problem. The criticisms are that certain topics may not be compatible with his methods. His methods are also 14 years old, so they do not account for the cultural changes that have taken place.

Conclusion

In conclusion, the researcher has studied and included a variety of relevant literature relating to student finance, student property, research and data collection methods. The literature was difficult to obtain in some instances, for example the information concerning student housing was mostly undertaken in the early 1990's, so it lacks modern day relevance.

Methodology

3.1 - What is a methodology?

A methodology can be defined as a clear definition of a goal and the steps that will be taken to achieve that goal. Neuman (2006) explains that a methodology is about understanding the organisational context, philosophical assumptions and ethical/political considerations of the task in hand. This chapter will discuss the steps the researcher will take in order for the research to be completed. It is necessary because it defines a clear route which the research will take, therefore giving it a structure. Trochim (2006) explains that research that is not structured is likely to provide a distorted conclusion.

3.2 - Research Philosophy and Approach

The research approach for this project is an Inductive approach. An Inductive approach can be defined as a theory generating method. Trochim (2006) highlights that there are 4 key steps to an inductive approach: Theory - Hypothesis - Observation - Confirmation. Each of the steps represent a portion of the plan the research is following.

3.3 - Discussion of data required

The purpose of collecting and analysing the data so that the queries and issues presented by the research question are explored. There will be numerous elements the research needs to address such as cost, quality and selection, so planning the collection of data is important to efficiency. Analysing the data is a process of gathering, modelling, and transforming data with the goal of highlighting useful information and suggesting conclusions.

The researcher found the topic interesting to investigate because they themselves are a student at the University of Chester, and have encountered a number of the issues student housing brings. It is useful to investigate this topic because it will highlight certain issues within the housing market, and provide facts and figures for future students to be aware of when selecting their accommodation.

This research set out to research a number of basic questions:

How much does the average student spend on accommodation?

What is the quality of their accommodation?

Does the quality affect the price?

Are students happy with their accommodation?

Gender differences

The collection of the data is via qualitative methods (Questionnaire), but the analysis will be presented in a quantitative format (Tables, Graphs). Qualitative research seeks out the 'why', not the 'how' of its topic through the analysis of unstructured information - things like interview transcripts and recordings, emails, notes, feedback forms, photos and videos. It doesn't just rely on statistics or numbers, which are the domain of quantitative researchers. Neuman (2006) explains that qualitative data is less standardised, and the researcher is more free in their methods.

3.4 - Discussion of the question content and data required

The content of the questions is something that needs to be addressed, and this will be achieved by highlighting the information that the researcher would like the questionnaire to obtain:

How much the average student pays for their accommodation

Does their rent include bills

Is their property privately owned or University owned

How did they arrange their accommodation

What is the quality of their accommodation

Would they live in their house again

Are they happy with the service their landlord has provided them with.

The aim of the questionnaire is to obtain information from students specified above. The reason those areas were chosen is because the researcher felt that finding out a variety of financial, quality and future plans from the quota of students would expand the research results, and provide a complete picture of student living.

The researcher took the step of limiting the data collection to just questionnaires, this was mainly due to financial constraints. However the researcher felt it was more appropriate to sample a quota of 100 students rather than say interview 10, because even though it would provide more brief information, it covered a larger population.

3.5 - Discussion of the format of the questionnaire

The questionnaire is the source of research for this project. Foddy (2001) describes a questionnaire as a research instrument consisting of a series of questions and other prompts for the purpose of gathering information from respondents. Wilson and McClean (1994) report that a questionnaire is a highly structured data collection instrument, which allows for the assembly of a set of data against a suite of questions. The questionnaires are 'Self Administered' in this case. The aim of this questionnaire is to gather as much information from students as possible without taking up much of their time; this is so the responses are more accurate. The reason why the questions were presented in the order was a result of the researcher feeling that they would receive the most accurate information if similar topics were grouped together in the questionnaire. However the design did provide a problem in certain cases, where there was room for too much information on the questionnaire.

The Advantages of a questionnaire are:

The responses are gathered in a standardised way, so questionnaires are more objective, certainly more so than interviews.

it is relatively quick to collect information using a questionnaire

Potentially information can be collected from a large portion of a group

Disadvantages of Questionnaires are:

Questionnaires are standardised so it is not possible to explain any points in the questions that participants might misinterpret

Respondents may answer superficially especially if the questionnaire takes a long time to complete

Students may not be willing to answer the questions. They might not wish to reveal the information or they might think that they will not benefit from responding

3.6 - Discussion of the response formats

How many different response formats did you use? Why did you use them?

What are the advantages and disadvantages of each response format you used in your questionnaire?

3.7 - Discussion of sample

Williams (2003) describes a sample as a small part of something intended as representative of the whole. The concept of a sampling theory is to identify the methods the researcher will use in order to identify their respondents. For example, a Bank sending out questionnaires regarding mortgages would have to identify adults in their mid twenties upwards for participation, as the population younger than this are not able to participate. It is important to use sample theory because it gives the questionnaire a more direct purpose and structure. It can in some cases narrow down the level of responses.

Random sampling: Each member of the population has an equal and known chance of being selected

Stratified sampling: The population is divided into subpopulations (strata) and random samples are taken of each stratum

Quota sampling: A type of sampling where quotas are set for certain cells or demographics

Snowball sampling: A non-probability sampling scheme in which you begin by sampling one person, then ask that person for the names of other people you might interview, then interview them and obtain a list of people from them, and so on.

The sampling method that was used for this questionnaire is stratified sampling. However there are students who commute daily to the University, therefore they will not experience the same issues student housing proposes to other students. The reason why the researcher chose this method was that the questionnaire needed to filter out the students who lived away from home and the ones that live at home.

The sample size is an important part of research. Taylor (1998) reports that determining sample size is a very important issue because samples that are too large may waste time, resources and money, while samples that are too small may lead to inaccurate results. The size of the sample is 100 students. The figure of 100 students was reached due to the number being large enough to provide a variety of replies, but to also accommodate for the potential lack of replies.

3.8 - Discussion of data collection method

The questionnaires were distributed to 100 students around the campus of the University Of Chester. All of the participants were obtained via personal interaction between the researcher and the students on the University campus. This proved to be relatively simple and ensured feasibility (Saunders et al, 2003) due to saving time on selection. The main locations were the Seaborne Library and the Student Union building. The participants were asked whether they lived away from home in student accommodation, and if the reply was yes, were asked to complete a questionnaire. Participants were asked to complete the questionnaire in their own time, however the majority resulted in completion within 10 minutes. Students were asked to deposit their replies in an arranged area of the library and the student union building, this was so that participants did not feel pressured distorting their answer in order to comply with a time limit.

3.9 - Note on data analysis technique

The data that was analysed by the researcher was manually processed into a computer. The researcher used the Microsoft Excel package to structure, interpret and present their findings. The reason why Excel was used was due to it's complex array of functions and methods of presenting information using graphs and tables.

3.10 - Pilot Questionnaire

Saunders, Lews and Thornhill (2007) explain that prior to a questionnaire being used to collect data it should be pilot tested. They say the purpose of a pilot test is to refine the questionnaire so that respondents will have no problems in answering the questions and so the researcher will have no problems recording the data. The pilot questionnaire can be viewed in the appendices. It went out to a random quota of 20 students in the University of Chester' Seaborne library in January 2009. Bell (2005) suggests that the pilot should be used to find out :

How long the questionnaire took to complete

Which, if any, questions were ambiguous

Which, if any, questions the respondent felt uneasy about answering

Whether there were any topic omissions

Whether the layout was clear & attractive.

The results of the pilot brought the questionnaire to be amended to a more attractive layout. A large portion of the 20 participants said that they layout was no easy on the eyes and made answering the questions more difficult. The second

3.11 - Discussion of alternative methods of data collection

The data collection method of Questionnaires is the selected method for this task, however it is important to discuss the alternative methods which may have been used.

Focus Groups: are formal, structured events where you directly interact with users, asking them to voice their opinions and experiences regarding a particular subject or question. Morgan (1997) gives an example of a focus group:

"In a church meeting room, a group of widows discuss their experiences. One woman complains that people wanted her to stop grieving in 6 months, but it really takes alot longer. Another woman produces murmurs of agreement throughout the groups when she argues that the second year is often harder than the first."

Advantages:

The researcher can interact with the participants, pose follow-up questions or ask questions that probe more deeply.

Results can be easier to understand than complicated statistical data.

The researcher can get information from non-verbal responses, such as facial expressions or body language.

Information is provided more quickly than if people were interviewed separately.

Disadvantages:

The small sample size means the groups might not be a good representation of the larger population.

Group discussions can be difficult to steer and control, so time can be lost to irrelevant topics.

Respondents can feel peer pressure to give similar answers to the moderator's questions.

The moderator's skill in phrasing questions along with the setting can affect responses and skew results.

One on one Interviews: An interview is a conversation between two or more people (the interviewer and the interviewee), where questions are asked by the interviewer to obtain information from the interviewee. Interviews are particularly useful for getting the story behind a participant's experiences. The interviewer can pursue in-depth information around the topic. Interviews may be useful as follow-up to certain respondents to questionnaires, e.g., to further investigate their responses. (McNamara, 1999).

Advantages:

The researcher can adapt the questions and exercise intuition

Enables the interviewer to read the expressions and body language of the interviewee.

Disadvantages:

Interviewer can word questions in a bias way

They can be expensive.

3.12 - Review of the methodology used for the research

The researcher felt that the methodology that was implemented was plausible for the topic. They feel that the questionnaire was the most appropriate data collection method for the research question, however there could have been more depth/probing in some of the questions asked. There were a number of problems with the data collection method, due to the willingness of students to participate at certain periods, which lead to the data collection taking more time than originally planned. This problem could not have been avoided as participation was voluntary.

The methods of data collection for this project were a self administered questionnaire and secondary research from literature. The secondary data allowed the researcher to be aware of the dynamics of the student rental market in Chester and around the country. Questionnaires were used as they provide an efficient way to collect responses from a large number of people (Saunders et al, 2003). The questionnaires were conducted at the library and the student's union building on University of Chester's campus, which enabled the researcher to interact with the students during the collection process. There was no need for permission from the University to complete the survey as they permit dissertation research on campus. The pilot questionnaire was completed within an approximate time frame of 1 hour, where as the main questionnaire took around 4 hours throughout a day to receive all 100 responses back. Staying near the participants whilst they were completing the questionnaire was necessary as there were occasional queries about issues such as whether to put their name and the like. The researcher had planned another date in the event that there were issues with the data collection.

However, the researcher noticed that on a number of participants appeared to complete the questionnaires in a very fast and nonchalant way, prompting suspicions that a number did not complete the questions in a fair manor. This can not be proven as the participant may have known the answers most relevant to them off the top of their head. To ensure efficiency, feasibility was considered whilst conducting the questionnaire, it did not run over scheduled time periods and costs were kept very low (Bourque L.B. & Fielder E.P., 1995).

Ethical considerations put into place during the research process were successful as all participants were pleased to fill in the questionnaire and no issues were raised regarding the content of questionnaire. If there were issues raised, the researcher feels that participants would have refused to complete the questionnaire or reserved their right to withdraw from it at any time. The researcher concluded that if they were to complete the questionnaire again, that they would add more questions to the research. They would also try and include the use of focus groups and interviews, as this adds a more in depth aspect to the research.

If the researcher was to run the project again, they would plan the structure of the research at an earlier date in order to give time for new ideas and unforeseeable changes. They would also implement the use of focus groups, as this gives an opportunity to ask more personal questions with students, observe their body language and ultimately leave no stone unturned. The method was good in the researchers opinion in terms of reliability and validity. The structure of the questionnaire covered the main issues and financial implications of the student property market, which ensured a high level of reliability in the results.

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