Downing Students launches Beijing office

Leading UK student accommodation developer Downing has expanded its operations into China and will now have a permanent presence in the capital, Beijing.

Downing Students has one of the biggest student accommodation portfolios in the UK, and operates over 5,000 student beds in nine key UK cities including London, Cambridge, Edinburgh, and Newcastle. The business also has a further 4,000 beds in the pipeline across the country.

There are currently 90,000 Chinese students studying in the UK and Downing is keen to strengthen its presence in China by engaging with this fast-growing group of international students keen to study in the UK.

As part of its growth in the country, the company has appointed a new China project manager, Jingjing Xu, to assist and engage students. Jingjing has over a decade of experience in the student sector and joins Downing from a role with further education and English language provider Oxford International Education Group.

She will be based in Beijing and will visit cities across China to connect with students and help them to easily access and arrange their student accommodation in the UK.

Jingjing studied in Leeds for five years, so has valuable personal experience of the UK’s higher-education sector and what students are looking for in their student accommodation.

“I’m delighted to be working with Downing Students in China and introducing students to this fantastic company. Travelling away from home for the first time can be daunting, particularly when you’re moving to another country. It’s great to be in the position to be able to use my professional and personal experience to make that transition easier for students and provide them with advice on UK cities, student life and student accommodation.

“Studying abroad can be fantastic – I studied in Leeds for five years and it was a really enriching and inspiring time. I’m looking forward to seeing our students enjoy similar experiences and have a wonderful time exploring new places and cultures, and studying in these world-class university cities.

“Downing Students is committed to offering students quality, secure accommodation in outstanding locations and with great facilities and services like super-fast internet connections – which are vital for international students. Our friendly, qualified halls managers and teams are focused on providing great pastoral care for students – especially those who may be living away from home or in another country for the first time.”


“Jingjing has a fantastic blend of personal and professional experience that makes her perfect for this new role and we’re delighted to have her representing Downing Students in China.

“This is a key market for the business and having a permanent presence in Beijing will enable us to easily engage and connect with current and potential students to help to support them in their accommodation journey.

“Chinese students are fastest-growing group of international students coming to study in the UK and we’re very pleased to be continuing to grow the brand and strengthen our operations in China.”

Ann Lodge

Chief Executive of Downing Students