The proportion of students living at home has increased from 12% to 20% over the past 10 years, figures suggest.
The study examines trends in higher education
A Universities UK report says the proportion of full-time undergraduates living in halls has fallen from 35% to 27% in the same period.
Since 1998 students have had to pay tuition fees, which have now risen to £3,000 a year.
The study shows a slight rise in the number of students from poorer areas going to university - up 1% on 1998/99.
The study - Patterns of Higher Education Institutions in the UK - examines trends in universities over the past 10 years.
Chinese and Greek students
The number of students from non-European Union countries coming to study in the UK has "virtually doubled" over the 10-year period, the report says.
The most significant number were from China,.
The number of universities with more than 5,000 students from abroad increased from three in 2001/02 to 13 in 2004/05.
The analysis of trends shows female students are in the majority at all levels - only on postgraduate courses do male students approach parity.
While showing a rise in the proportion of ethnic minority students in higher education, the study found an increasing concentration of these students are based in a limited number of institutions.
The study shows a reduction in the number of students leaving university and finding themselves unemployed, but it stresses that this must be seen in the context of the overall improvement in employment within the UK.
The UUK assessment shows some subjects - notably medicine, biological science and computer science - have seen above average increases in student numbers.
Others such as chemistry, architecture, engineering and agriculture have seen a decline in student numbers.
The number of students awarded first class degrees has also increased from 7.8% in 1995/96 to 10.6% in 2004/05.