The student lifestyle isn’t one that typically includes a lot of luxury. But this is 2018! There are now enough students with the surplus cash to bankroll a life of luxury that an entire new industry has sprung up. For a fee, naturally, these student members’ clubs offer an alternative to the usual student experience.
An Alternative to Penny Pinching
For many students, saving money is a priority. This leads to the constant deluge of cheap alcohol, cheap food, and spiralling debts and costs that define student life for many. However, students with a little bit more financial freedom can now use that money to upgrade their entire university experience.
The Luxury Student is at the forefront of what could prove to be a revolution in the way that we think about the student experience. It is a members’ club and concierge service, currently operating in London. The aim is to provide students with a unique university experience, giving them the opportunity to turn their backs on the usual approach to student life and instead enjoy the finer things in life.
There has been a growing trend in recent years towards giving students more upmarket purchasing options in a number of areas. Nowhere is this more obvious than with student accommodation. The Collegiate accommodation in Southampton exemplifies the new approach that many providers are taking when it comes to the different types of student accommodation Southampton has to offer.
Consumers, including students, are more discerning than ever before. The younger generations of today are used to a level of service far higher than the rest of us grew up with. So perhaps it isn’t so surprising that there should be a market for a luxury student experience.
The Luxury Student
Aileen Gilanie read hospitality at Oxford Brookes before going on to found The Luxury Student. Now, aged 26, she reflects on her time at university with a sense of frustration. She says that she grew tired of “the impression [brands] have” of students. She feels that by assuming that every student is on a budget, brands are only aiming their products at one type of student.
Similarly, students who want a night out but aren’t keen on downing 2-for-1 shots before flailing around a dancefloor and stumbling home are left with few organised options.
Aileen came up with The Luxury Student as an antidote to this problem. The service aims to provide students who want a more upmarket experience. Of course, membership doesn’t come cheap; it is not something that the average student is going to be able to afford. But, Gillanie argues, nor is it aimed at the average student. In fact, part of the inspiration for the idea came from Aileen’s surroundings. She studied her postgrad in law in Bloomsbury, one of London’s more expensive areas. Here, she mingled with many students, particularly international students, who had already developed expensive tastes and weren’t shy about indulging them.
The Luxury Student is a concept which is sure to grow and spread. For now, its reach is limited. But this should give hope to those who have always wanted a more comfortable university experience.