The Best in Class

The Best in Class Awards were established in 2016 in order to recognize, highlight and promote companies and initiatives at the forefront of student living, working and learning. In a young and learning industry, we find it important to honour thought leadership and encourage the exchange of bright ideas.

In 2017, The Class piloted the Start-Up Programme to celebrate innovation and entrepreneurial spirit in the student sector. This year The Class and European Internet Service Provider ASK4 are partnering to continue the Start-Up Programme, in order to provide a platform and an extra push for start-ups who are revolutionising student living.

The Best in Class Awards

The Best in Class Awards celebrate the companies, institutions and individuals going that extra mile in making student living more efficient, welcoming and professional. The 8 Awards Categories will allow all sectors of the student living community to get the opportunity to be formally recognised.
In 2017, The Best in Class Awards attracted over 70 entries. This year again, we strongly encourage everyone who is passionate about student living to apply and make our community aware of your projects!


Samuel Vetrak



Charlotte Steedman



João Pinto


Erasmus Student Network

Erica Sjölin

Head of member services and relations


Paloma Lisboa

Head of Student Accommodation

King’s College London

Judging process

For time efficiency and transparency reasons, each award will be judged by the same jury, who represents the sector, is non partial and is not part of an organization eligible for an award. The Class of 2020 will put forward three nominations to the jury, whom will elect the winner. A majority vote from the jury will decide the winner.

Winner notification process

All winners will be officially announced during the Awards ceremony. Winners that are not already on the delegates lists for the dinner will be contacted timely.


The Awards ceremony will take place during the Partner dinner of The Class of 2020, on November 14th at the UniCredit Pavilion:
Piazza Gae Aulenti 10
20124 Milano MI


Start-Up Programme

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Each month, between April and September, the Start-Up programme will recognise a start-up developing a product or service that enhances student life, the future of learning, and the transition to a working career in an unprecedented way.
Four start-ups will then be shortlisted to pitch their inventions at The Class Conference in Milan in front of a distinguished panel of judges and an international audience of investors. The winner of this programme definitely breaks barriers and turns bold ambitions into reality!

There are a lot of potential partners both from the operation side and from the development side.

Jeremy Bamberg

Co-Founder, Factory International

At Nido students we really respect the work that The Class is doing in expanding the footprint of the student accommodation sector and challenging local governments and those of us within the sector to continue to evolve, adapt, improve, deliver great services for students and continue to be a force. 

Brian Welsh

CEO, Nido Student

That’s the marketplace for everybody who is part of this sector in the real estate industry.  

Horst Lieder

Chairman & Founder at IC Campus

Wonderfully organised and thoughtful event.

Julie Wagner

Non-resident Fellow The Brookings Institution

Every time there is a disruption, there is a huge opportunity and the industries that have been embracing it are really starting to benefit from that. How can we create products, programmes or styles of learning or spaces for learning and innovation that can enhance the whole experience?  

Marti Wigder Grimminck

Chief Connector at International Connector

What student need today is not what they will need in 10 years time and what they needed 10 years ago isn’t what they need today, so times will have gonna got to change. 

Maureen McDermott

Student Accommodation Consultant

There is an umbilical link between study success and great quality accommodation. 

Tim Mitchell

CEO Europe at Global Student Accommodation Group

What I have been learning from The Class of 2020 is how important it is for Europe to insure that there is a merging in the cities and that the accommodation supports that immersion.

Tom Ellet

Senior Associate VP Student Affairs at New York University

It is finding a community that is specialised in these areas, exchanging ideas, talking about trends in the future is always insisting. 

Stephan Rind

Director at EUREAS Group AG

International students equals housing, student mobility equals housing. Housing plays a vital role, and if you don’t have enough, you are not going to grow.

Robert Coelen

Professor at NHL Stenden University of Applied Sciences

Start-ups of the month

2018 Best in Class Winners

Congratulations to our 2018 Best in Class Winners who keep on inspiring, improving and developing the future of living, working and learning.

2017 Best in Class Winners

Congratulations to our 2017 Best in Class Winners who keep on inspiring, improving and developing the future of living, working and learning.