University – it’s Big Business

Universities aren’t just for students. The employ thousands of academic and support staff. On top of all those tuition fees, research grants and student loans, there’s all sorts of industry clustered around them. From food to accommodation to information technology, we take look at the top 5 businesses you might find supporting a University campus…

Enterprising students, entrepreneurial locals, corporate conglomerates – they all have one thing in common – they’ve all got the potential to build businesses around the academic and geographic structures of a University Campus. Students, research and academic teaching and support staff are a neat and tidy captive audience.  So what are the top


Almost certainly the biggest business around any University campus is accommodation. From multi-storey corporate or University owned student blocks to shared rooms in houses rented by private landlords. It’s the biggest cost in the student budget and for most means wracking up debt in the form of student loans. For private local landlords, renting out a second property during the academic semester is part of an investment or pension plan for later life. For the larger university owned facilities there’s a whole community of support staff – security, cleaning and engineering – to keep everything ship-shape. If you’re student there might well be roles available with in the accommodation provision ecosphere. For a select lucky few, wealthy parents have been known to buy property in the location where their nearest and dearest are studying and rent out any additional spare rooms to other students.

Tech Repair

Ask any student to show you their smartphone and well over 50% will have a smashed or cracked screen. It’s just something that happens under the pressures of student life. It’s a similar story with tablets and laptops, they suffer a hard time, getting knocked about in the to-and-fro ‘twixt student digs, the corridors of academia and the pub. The cost of insurance for gadgets and tech is a luxury for most students, consequently the knocks and scrapes persist, until frustration at the diminishing usability necessitate repair. Then there’s the risk of catastrophic failure or damage. With so many aspects of study in electronic format these days – discovering your digital world is all-but-lost is a frightening proposition.

All that damaged or broken tech creates a market for the entrepreneurial tear-down experts. Car mechanics for the modern era. Able to strip off a cracked screen, replace a dodgy headphone socket or disassemble a Dell and replace the motherboard – all of which at 10 paces.  From tech savvy students with an entrepreneurial flair setting up shop on campus, to more established computer repair shops on the high street or business park based workshops – there’s plenty of people in the local area who can help you fix your tech.


From supermarkets to fast-food, students need to eat. As well as the student cafeterias and campus based bars and vending machines, you’ll find a higher than average concentration of restaurants and cafes clustered close to campus – most offering student concessions and or delivery – with some available almost anytime of the day or night. Quite often those outlets are looking for temporary or seasonal

With healthier food tending to be more expensive, an emerging student niche is the ‘chalet rep’ style. Pay a weekly fee and have your meals cooked for you by one of your peers in-hall. If you’re a bit of a dab hand in the kitchen then this could be a bit of a money spinner for you. If you’re making a meal for yourself, why not make one for 3 others and get paid for the effort.


Entertainment comes in all shapes and sizes. First off there’s the Student Union who mostly book circuit acts during term time – but they’re more of an in-house service. Beyond that professional ‘Union’ circuit of acts, all sorts of local pubs, clubs and entertainment venues look to catch the student market. From live bands to live theatre to film clubs and dance. Opportunities exist to enjoy what they have to offer – or even be the acts on stage. Venues are always looking for new acts, and student bands, dance teams might be able to earn a few quid to add to the coffers.


Student Storage

It might seem an odd one, but self storage facilities – such as ours in Camden and Southwark – are popular in University towns. With student accommodation being notoriously tight on space, they’re a logical addition to the high street. Most offer great deals for students – who either need space during term time or require somewhere to leave their stuff during holidays. Find out more about our student storage offers over on our main website.






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