Our Vision

Student accommodation is our business. We created student accommodation, and then we transformed it into the global sector it is today.

But we know that there is still more to do.

Inspired by the business model of the global hotel industry giants, we want to expand and improve the scale, reach, and quality of student accommodation around the world.

Our vision is to be the global leader in student accommodation.

Our Strategy

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Our Values

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Our Partner – Yugo

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Our Story



Our founder, Nicholas Porter, was a pioneer of the sector in the 1990s when he founded Unite Students (previously The UNITE Group plc), the original provider of purpose-built student housing. Unite Students grew rapidly in the proceeding decade before listing on the London Stock Exchange and entering the FTSE 250. Today, it continues to be the largest provider of student accommodation to students in the UK.

After leading Unite Students’ growth, Nicholas targeted his ambition at growing student housing globally and in 2008 launched a new group, Urbanest, in Australia, before entering the UK. In 2013, GSA was formed and has now grown to over 45,000 beds including development and pipeline projects around the world, providing a growth platform for investors and aligning to the appetite of international students of today.

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Our History

In the past 30 years, the world is better connected than we could ever have imagined.

The need for students to live in safe and vibrant communities with quality accommodation helps students get the most out of university.

We have grown because we have listened and responded to the needs of university students across the world.

  • Yugo is launched by Nick Porter- taking existing operational brands of GSA and merging under one global student operator.
  • GSA enters the world’s largest PBSA market, acquiring first portfolio in the USA and property manager UComm.
  • GSA recapitalizes Nexo Residencias JV with HSRE
    GSA Coral acquires larger stake in Irish JV from HSRE
    GSA Coral partners with CSP and doubles the Funds AUM in less than 1 year
  • GSA introduces market leading student wellbeing program
  • £300 million construction programme embarked across the UK
    GSA Star Asia launched - for Japanese student accommodation
    GSA acquires its first portfolio in Spain – 2,234 beds, from Oaktree Capital Management
  • GSA Investment Management & Coral Portfolio forms GSA Coral
    GSA & GIC acquires The Student Housing Company brand, a portfolio of 7,150 UK student beds from Oaktree
    Partnership announced with GIC for a push into German student accommodation market. 
    First property under management in China announced
  • Uninest established 'Uninest Dubailand' in UAE
    Beijing & Frankfurt office setup
  • Nick Porter sells stake in Urbanest to M3 Capital Partners' Evergreen Fund
    GSA global presence in Dublin & Tokyo
  • First Eurozone city targeted, GSA enter Dublin
    Hong Kong office for Asia expansion established
  • Middle East strategy implemented
  • Nick Porter steps down as Non-Exec Deputy Chairman of UNITE
    Urbanest London founded
  • Global focus on expansion through GSA Group
  • 36,700 beds
  • Formation of UNITE UK Student Accommodation Fund (USAF), Europe's largest unlisted specialised student housing investment vehicle
  • 100 total properties; 28 cities managed; 26,310 beds in UK
  • Active in 30 locations across 14,109 beds
  • Total 10,450 beds
    UNITE full stock exchange listing
  • Total 4,640 beds
    First properties open in London
  • Introduction of specialised property - 1,224 beds
  • First UNITE property opens in Bristol, UK - 760 beds
  • 104 beds – Nick Porter founds UNITE


GSA is committed to investing responsibly and in a way that considers, and positively contributes to, the broader environment and society.

We recognise that our impact is broader than the financial value we generate. We believe that the student accommodation sector can have significant social benefits for a wide range of stakeholders.

We understand that a long-term focus on sustainability is the right thing to do, and positively impacts on value for investors and stakeholders. Investing well and responsibly will result in higher occupancy and income, and strong relationships with universities as we demonstrate our commitment to student wellbeing. It will also yield higher or improving asset values through efficient energy consumption and higher or growing asset values as we provide real estate with strong sustainability credentials that the market will demand over the long term.


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