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The assignment writing service, BrillAssignment.co.uk,have researched colleges and universities in UK. According to their experts, a college town or university town is a community (often a separate town or city, but in some cases a town/city neighbourhood or a district) that is dominated by its university population. The university may be large, or there may be several smaller institutions such as liberal arts colleges clustered, or the residential population may be small, but college towns in all cases are so dubbed because the presence of the educational institution(s) pervades economic and social life. Many local residents may be employed by the university—which may be the largest employer in the community—many businesses,for instance essay writing services, cater primarily to the university, and the student population may outnumber the local population. In the United States over the past few decades, so-called "college towns" have cropped up near colleges and universities, but these are distinctly commercial enterprises designed and built by commercial development companies and consisting of shops and, in some cases, upscale housing. They are, in effect, small shopping plazas, often built to vaguely resemble a college "quad."

In Europe, a university town is generally characterised by having an ancient university. The economy of the city is closely related with the university activity and highly supported by the entire university structure, which may include university hospitals and clinics, printing houses, libraries, laboratories, business incubators, student rooms, dining halls, students' unions, student societies, and academic festivities. Moreover, the history of the city is often intertwined with that of the university. Many European university towns have not been merely important places of science and education, but also centres of political, cultural and social influence throughout the centuries. Besides a highly educated and largely transient population, a stereotypical college town often has many people in non-traditional lifestyles and subcultures and with a high tolerance for unconventionality in general, and has a very active musical or cultural scene. The majority of the population is usually politically liberal. Many have become centres of technological research and innovative startups.

While noise, traffic, and other quality of life issues have not been resolved, some advocates of New Urbanism have led the development of neighborhoods in college towns by specifically capitalizing on their proximity to university life. For instance, some universities have developed properties to allow faculty and staff members to walk to work, reducing demand for limited on-campus parking; Duke University's Trinity Heights development is a key example. In many cases, developers have built communities where access to the university (even if not directly adjacent) is promoted as an advantage. Student housing is also an important component of college towns. In the United States most state universities have 50 percent or more of their enrolled students living off-campus. This trend, which began in the 1960s, originally meant the conversion of near campus single-family homes to student housing, creating "student ghettos." Colleges and other developers began building purpose-built off-campus student housing areas in the 1970s in more college towns. Beginning around 2000 in the United States, nationwide real estate investment trusts (REIT) and publicly traded corporations began developing student housing complexes. Another notable development since the 1990s is the surge in popularity of retirees relocating to college towns. Retirees are attracted to these locations because of cultural and educational opportunities, college athletic events, good medical facilities (often at teaching hospitals affiliated with medical schools), a low cost of living, and often a pedestrian- or public transit-friendly development pattern. Several development companies now specialize in constructing retirement communities in college towns. In some cases the communities have developed formal relationships with the local institution. The demand for housing from students, faculty, staff, and retirees has kept college town home prices stable during the housing market downturn that began in 2005.

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