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Unite Students wins major award for market-leading performance

4 November 2022

  • Unite Students wins Alternatives Specialist Award at national awards ceremony
  • It was recognised for supporting students, including a package offering rent discounts and tenancy extensions during the pandemic
  • Other highlights were relaunching its sector-leading Student Support offer and piloting workshops with UK charity

Unite Students has won a major award for its market-leading performance and student support during the last year.

The UK’s leading owner, manager and developer of student accommodation picked up the Alternatives Specialist Award at the EG Awards 2022 in London.

Unite Students’ support contributed towards more than £100million – the largest financial package offered in the Higher Education sector – for students through rent waivers during the pandemic.

Students not living in their Unite Students accommodation were able to apply for a ten-week rent discount and four-week complimentary tenancy extension.

Karan Khanna, Unite Students’ Chief Customer Officer, said:

“This award is a fantastic acknowledgement of the great work colleagues at Unite Students is doing to adapt and outperform the sector.

“This award demonstrates that we lead in raising standards in the student accommodation sector evidenced through our response to external global factors, sustainability, social value and extensive use of research insights. Unite Students has strived to act in line with our value of ‘doing what’s right’ for our students and university partners, responding in a fair and proportionate way.”

Unite Students relaunched its sector-leading Student Support offer to include updated policies, procedures and training, improvements in reporting of student cause-for concern and an increase in Mental Health First Aiders. The business also piloted the ‘Look after your mate workshops’ with mental health charity Student Minds.

Martin Blakey, Chief Executive of Unipol Student Homes, and an awards judge, said:

“Unite Students led the way in broadening their responsibilities – recognising the special role they play in an educational context. Two areas stand out – belonging and feeling part of the community, and mental health support.”

The company regularly undertakes customer surveys and research projects, making insights available to the entire sector. Recently, these have included surveys on attitudes on returning to campus during the pandemic, wellbeing, applicant readiness for university, the reality of careers support in schools and the cost-of-living crisis.

Ian Robertson, Director of Residential & Catering Services at University of Leeds, also an awards judge, added:

“As Unite Students has evolved, their commitment to improving the student accommodation sector has resulted in the publication of meaningful research which many in the sector can utilise to improve aspects of their operations.”


Notes to Editors

For further information, please contact Unite Students press office on 0117 4506300 or email:

About Unite Students

Unite Students is the UK’s largest owner, manager and developer of purpose-built student accommodation (PBSA) serving the country’s world-leading higher education sector. We provide homes to 74,000 students across 172 properties in 25 leading university towns and cities. We currently partner with over 60 universities across the UK.

Our people are driven by a common purpose: to provide a ‘Home for Success’ for the students who live with us. Unite Students’ accommodation is safe and secure, high quality, and affordable. Students live predominantly in en-suite study bedrooms with rents covering all bills, insurance, 24-hour security and high-speed wi-fi. We also achieved a five-star British Safety Council rating in our last audit in 2020.

We are committed to raising standards in the student accommodation sector for our customers, investors and employees. This is why our new Sustainability Strategy, launched in 2021, which includes our social impact strategy with a significant focus on providing opportunities for all.

Founded in 1991 in Bristol, the Unite Group is an award-winning Real Estate Investment Trust (REIT), listed on the London Stock Exchange. For more information, visit Unite Group’s corporate website or the Unite Students’ site