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Living Black at University is a major new report into Black students’ experience in UK student accommodation, commissioned by Unite Students and carried out by Halpin Partnership.

The research explores the experiences of Black students across university accommodation and private halls of residence, amplifying their voices and stories to the wider Higher Education sector. The findings are challenging, but it’s important that we have this knowledge in order to be able to respond.

Now we at Unite Students are calling on universities and student accommodation providers to collaborate across the Higher Education sector and take meaningful action in order to address these issues.

NEW: Living Black at University Commission Report
Our new Commission report shares practical tips and resources for improving Black students’ accommodation experience.

Living Black at University

Featuring significant findings and 10 recommendations, Living Black at University is essential reading for anyone connected to student accommodation in the UK.

Download Living Black at University now:

Living Black at University

Living Black at University

Resources and toolkits

Unite Students has launched a national commission, comprised of decision makers from across the Higher Education and wider student accommodation sector, in order to respond to the findings and recommendations at a national level.

Below, you can find the resources created by or on behalf of the Commission to support your institution in improving Black students’ university experience.

Informed by Living Black at University, a major report into Black students' experience in UK student accommodation – with research undertaken by Halpin Partnership – Unite Students has launched a national commission in order to respond to the findings and recommendations at a national level.

Find out more

Learn more about the report by clicking through to our summary video and press release. You can also watch the launch event webinar and panel discussion, run in conjunction with the Higher Education Policy Institute (HEPI).

Read more:

Living Black at University: Our new partnership with CUBO
We are delighted to announce that the next stage of the Living Black at University Commission will be jointly led by Unite Students and CUBO (College and University Business Officers), as we look to continue the Commission’s work on supporting equity, inclusion and belonging in student accommodation and beyond.
The future of race and inclusion in student accommodation
Hot off the launch of the new Living Black at University Commission report, we’re continuing our focus on the future of sustainability within purpose-built student accommodation (PBSA) with this month’s episode on race and inclusion in student accommodation.
Why there’s a new Living Black at University report
Jen Steadman, Commissioning Editor of the new 2022/23 Living Black at University Commission report, explains why there’s a new Living Black at University report, what it covers and what’s next for the Commission.
How can we help Black students to settle in at university?
A key finding from last year’s Living Black at University report was that a lack of culturally relevant services in many UK cities contributed towards many Black students feeling like they didn’t belong at university. As part of the Unite Students Commission on Living Black at University, we wanted to take action so that Black students could more easily acclimatise to university life. Here’s how we co-created a brand new resource to support Black students moving away from home for the first time.
Embedding diversity and inclusion at Unite Students
In June 2022, Unite Students launched a three-year Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, Belonging (DEIB) and Wellbeing strategy. More than a year on, we outline the progress we’ve made against the strategy, and some of the ways in which we’ve embedded diversity, inclusion and belonging into Unite Students for the benefit of both students and employees.
Living Black at University: 3 resources to support change
The Unite Students Commission on Living Black at University is delighted to share a series of resources to support the wider Higher Education sector in achieving race equity and creating a more welcoming university community for Black students.
Supporting Black students at university: A parents’ guide
One of the starkest findings from the Living Black at University report was the mental health challenge faced by Black students in UK student accommodation. Guest contributor Melissa Browne, Deputy Director of Commercial Services and Estates at University of Kent and Vice Chair of CUBO (College and University Business Officers), has seen the impact first-hand in her family – now, she shares her advice for parents of Black students on how to support them during their university experience.
6 lessons from the Living Black at University Conference
What actions did our delegates take away from the Living Black at University Conference to create a more equitable living environment for Black students? Here are six key takeaways from the day.
Living Black at University blog series: The Unite Students Commission on Living Black at University – A safe home environment as crucial to Black student success | HEPI
The Higher Education Policy Institute (HEPI), has launched a blog series to continue discussion on our Living Black at University research report. Here we share the first blog in the series, 'The Unite Students Commission on Living Black at University – A safe home environment is crucial to Black student success', written by Professor Iyiola Solanke, Chair in EU Law and Social Justice at the University of Leeds and Chair of the Unite Students Commission on Living Black at University. ​​​​​​​
Living Black at University report: What you need to know | Unite Students HE Blog
Unite Students has published ‘Living Black at University’, major new research looking into Black students’ experience in UK student accommodation, commissioned by Unite Students and carried out by Halpin Partnership. Here’s an overview of what you need to know about the report, and where you can find out more.
Racial inequity plays out in university accommodation as well as the classroom | WONKHE
Accommodation is rarely mentioned in discussions of inequalities, but it may be a key piece of the puzzle. Jenny Shaw reports on Unite Students research on black students in halls.
Living Black at University: A call to action | HEPI
Jenny Shaw, Higher Education External Engagement Director at Unite Students, writes for HEPI about why we commissioned the Living Black at University research and what we want the Higher Education sector to take away from the report.

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