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Accommodation Matters – A Unite Students Podcast

17 September 2020

We are pleased to announce the launch of our new podcast, Accommodation Matters.  Accommodation has always mattered, even if for years it flew deep beneath the policy radar.  It has forever been a driving force behind the student experience, as the foundation of friendships, life skills and independence. 

As the largest student accommodation provider in the UK, we feel a responsibility to bring people together and wanted to provide a new platform for these debates. ‘Return to Campus’ is episode one of a series of topical professional conversations with some of the leading names in student accommodation and the wider higher education sector. This month, host Darren Ellis is joined by guests Nick Hillman (HEPI), Ian Jones (University of Sheffield), Robert Garnish (University of Glasgow) and Steph Camm (Unite Students) to discuss the theory and the reality of the return to university in a COVID world.

Covering the most recent UCAS figures, our recent research into student sentiment, the challenge around safety, settling in and arrivals as well as the international student situation and, how to tackle the risk of anti-social behaviour, this episode tackles the big questions the sector faces with the return of students.

Nick explains why the appetite for learning appears to remain so strong, drawing on the attitudes of parents and their hopes and aspirations for their children, alongside the demise of the gap year and meaningful alternative options.

Steph looks at the challenge of ensuring a safe environment for students and staff, without falling into the trap of dehumanising the experience. Robert talks about the challenge of sourcing enough ponchos for outdoor arrivals in Glasgow and Ian covers the risk and concern facing us all with deferrals.

With all the challenges we face this year this lively, in depth conversation with leading professionals provides a window into student accommodation today. You can find it here, or search for Accommodation Matters in your podcast app.