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Meet Will White – Unite Students’ new Higher Education Engagement Director

Partnered with more than 60 universities across the UK, Unite Students prides itself on strong relationships with the Higher Education sector. So, we’re delighted to introduce Will White as our new Higher Education Engagement Director. Here, Will shares why he took the role after five years working as a Head of Operations, his priorities for 2024 and his experience of how Higher Education policy challenges play out for students on the ground.

Transition to university: A Sixth Form Director’s perspective

Schools and sixth form colleges play an important role in helping students to have a smooth transition to university. In our latest report, Improving the Transition to University, representatives from secondary education spoke about how school data and support plans could be better used to support vulnerable students at university.  Wayne Templeman, Director of Sixth Form at St Bonaventure’s, London, shares his reflections on the transition to university, the connection between schools and students, and what schools and colleges want to see in improving the university transition. 

Interview: How do you create a great student experience?

We spoke to Serena Ferris, Resident Experience Programmes Manager, about what it takes to create a great student experience in accommodation.

A Day in the Life of… a Regional Student Support Officer

All of our front line teams have a role to play in supporting our residents – but when they need help with more complex cases, they can turn to our regional Student Support teams.  We spoke to Martin McKendley, Regional Student Support Officer for London, about what a typical day looks like in his role, how he works with our teams and university partners to support students, and his favourite thing about working at Unite Students. 

Emerging trends in student mental health

More and more students are seeking support for their mental health, and in response, we’ve seen a whole host of new initiatives to better meet that need. But what are these initiatives, where have they come from and what do student accommodation teams need to know? We’re getting into it in this month’s episode of Accommodation Matters. 
13/05/2024
Press releases

Disposal of six properties for £184m

Unite Students, the UK's leading owner, manager and developer of student accommodation, today announces the sale of six properties to PGIM Real Estate for £184 million.

Improving the Transition to Higher Education report: 4 things we learned

Our latest report ‘Improving the Transition to Higher Education’ is a joint initiative between Unite Students and the Higher Education Student Support Champion, Professor Edward Peck. Based on a series of expert roundtables and individual interviews, together with desk research and sector case studies, it draws together key challenges and recommendations for schools, colleges and universities. Co-author Jenny Shaw takes a look at some of the implications for student accommodation.

A Day in the Life of… our Birmingham South city team

We’re proud of all our city teams and how they deliver a great student experience – but in 2023, it was our Birmingham South team who scooped our internal Teamwork award. We spoke to Mitchell Fellows (General Manager), Dan Ruscoe (Student Experience Manager) and Nardi Kinson (Student Experience Team Leader) to find out how they work together, what makes them an award-winning team and what they love about working in the Birmingham South team.

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.

How can we solve the student accommodation supply problem?

In our latest episode of Accommodation Matters, we get to grips with the student accommodation supply/demand problem - and how we can solve it.
24/04/2024
Press releases

Unite Students completes £5.7m refurb of London property

Unite Students, the UK's largest provider of student accommodation, has refurbished a 220-bed property in London to improve resident experience and help realise its aim of becoming net zero carbon.

What’s next for our Resident Ambassador programme?

By students, for students - our Resident Ambassador programme helps students to build a community in our buildings while being paid for their time and effort. Heather Hunter, Resident Experience Programmes Officer, shares how we enhanced the scheme for this academic year, some of the events our Ambassadors have run across the UK this year, and how we’re tweaking the programme for 2024/25 to make it even better.

Our new sustainability report: How Unite Students is making a positive impact

At Unite Students, we talk a lot about sustainability. But what do our actions mean in a wider context, what are we aiming for, and what have we achieved so far? We’ve laid it all out in our first annual sustainability report – available to download now.
10/04/2024
Corporate blogs

Q&A with Claire Barber

Claire Barber, Group Asset Management Director, joined Unite Students in January 2023. Here, she discusses the year’s key asset management work and major projects planned for 2024.
10/04/2024
Corporate blogs

Q&A With Joe Lister and Mike Burt

Q&A with Joe Lister, Chief Executive Officer & Mike Burt, Chief Financial Officer

Q&A with Karan Khanna

Karan leads the operational and commercial functions for Unite Students, working with his team to enhance the student experience, deliver commercial performance and raise brand awareness.
09/04/2024
Press releases

Unite Students receives planning permission for two major schemes in London and Bristol

Unite Students, the UK's largest provider of student accommodation, has received planning approval for a landmark 952-bed property in east London and 500-bed scheme at a key Bristol location.
09/04/2024
Press releases

Trading update and Q1 fund valuations

Unite Students, the UK’s leading owner, manager and developer of student accommodation, today announces an update on current trading and quarterly property valuations.

What our Student Assistance Programme offers students

As the first purpose-built student accommodation (PBSA) provider to offer a student support service, Unite Students is constantly looking to evolve its student wellbeing offer. New for 2023/24, our Student Assistance Programme bolsters our provision of round-the-clock support. Here, we outline what the programme includes, how it has benefited our residents, and what we’ve learned since launch.
27/03/2024
Press releases

Unite Students builds its first mixed use property in Edinburgh

Unite Students’ new 401-bed property in Edinburgh will be a mix of student and private residential – the first of its kind for the UK’s largest provider of student accommodation.

How can Higher Education end student loneliness?

The 2023 Student Academic Experience Survey showed that 1 in 4 students feels lonely most or all of the time – and that number is growing. With loneliness carrying the same health risks as smoking 15 cigarettes a day and having a substantial impact on mental health, academic performance and student retention, this month we’re asking: how can Higher Education end student loneliness?
20/03/2024
Press releases

New Group People Director joins Unite Students

Unite Students, the UK's largest provider of student accommodation, today announces the appointment of Amy Round as Group People Director.

Interview: Putting student safety first at Unite Students

Student safety is of the utmost importance at Unite Students. Our Birmingham North team’s focus on safety was recognised at our Stars Awards in November, picking up three awards. We caught up with Davinder Sanghera, General Manager, and Dean Ditta, Student Safety Manager (Nights), about their award-winning safety approach. 

Meet our Regional Student Support Managers

Our three Regional Student Support Managers advise our frontline teams on complex support cases, work with university partners to provide a joined-up support process for students and help to develop our staff training. For University Mental Health Day, we spoke to Ami-Rose, Luke and Jenny to find out how they got into student support, what they want to achieve in 2024, and what issues they think need more focus in student support.

What student accommodation teams should know about Chinese culture

Bernadette Cochonat, Head of International Sales and Partnerships at Unite Students, first developed a Chinese cultural awareness workshop for our teams in 2017 – since then, she’s run more than 100 sessions. Here, she tells us about her workshops: why she created them, some of the insights she shares with our teams, and what’s next for the programme.

Interview: Meet Lettie and Vic – our new Heads of Operations

Living with us as students, working their way up through our operations teams and with experience in our central support functions - Lettie Hubbuck and Vic Simmons are the perfect ambassadors for Unite Students. With Lettie and Vic having recently been promoted to Heads of Operations across our Scotland & the North and South & Central regions respectively, we caught up with them to find out what their core principles are for student accommodation.
27/02/2024
Press releases

RESULTS FOR THE YEAR ENDED 31 DECEMBER 2023

Unite-Group results for the year ended 31 December 2023. Record earnings, strong outlook for 2024/25 and significant growth opportunities.

What the Building Safety Act means for student accommodation

The eighth season of Accommodation Matters is here - and this time, we're talking everything to do with the Building Safety Act and how it intersects with student accommodation.
19/02/2024
Business update

Unite Students enters joint venture with Newcastle University

Unite Students and Newcastle University have contracted to form a joint venture to develop 2,000 beds

How accommodation teams can support national work on student mental health

Jenny Shaw (HE External Engagement Director at Unite Students) gives an overview of the work of the Higher Education Mental Health Implementation Taskforce, five actions for student accommodation teams and how you can submit your own good practice to inform the Taskforce’s work.

Sailesh Parmar: Fire Service Manager to PBSA Fire Safety

Sailesh Parmar joined Unite Students as Fire Safety Manager for special projects, in 2022. Here, Sailesh describes how he finds working for a PBSA sector leader and its diversity.

Interview: Kashyap Patel, Student Experience Team Member, gains skills

Kashyap Patel is an international student who moved from India to the UK four months ago. He talks about the skills he is developing.

A Day in the Life of… a Housekeeping Team

Our housekeeping teams do much more than just keeping our buildings spick and span – they’re a trusted, supportive presence for our residents and play an important role in picking up student wellbeing concerns. We caught up with Margaret Graham (Housekeeping Team Leader), Liz Park and Radi Dimitrova (Housekeeping Team Members) from our experienced Glasgow housekeeping team to hear about a typical day in their role, how their role supports the student experience, and the importance of teamwork.

How our community projects are creating a positive impact

Sustainability at Unite Students isn’t just about reducing carbon – it’s also about having a positive impact on local communities. Through our Positive Impact programme, many of our teams have set up community projects to give back to their local area.  We’ve showcased four projects, and shared how our teams have worked with students, organisations and universities to create a positive social impact. 

Interview: Using data to deliver a better student experience

“Data is becoming more and more important in the future of any business,” says Kim Nisbett, Head of Insight at Unite Students. We caught up with Kim about her award-winning Insight and Analytics team, how they use data to help teams make informed, long-term decisions, and how our student panel challenges assumptions about what students want.

A Day in the Life of… a Facilities Manager at Unite Students

Our Facilities teams are the unsung heroes that keep everything working in our properties – but what does that look like from day to day? We spoke to Andy Hayes, Facilities Manager for Liverpool North, about what a typical day looks like in his role, how his team works together to fix issues on-site, and how his teams support the student experience in our buildings.

In Conversation With: Emma Taylor, Unite Students’ Employee of the Year 2023

Emma Taylor is Unite Students’ General Manager for Nottingham, home to our new 705-bed Morriss House property. She won Employee of the Year at the company’s 2023 Stars Awards.
03/01/2024
Press releases

Unite Students begins construction of new 719-bed student property in Stratford, London

Unite Students, the UK's largest provider of student accommodation, has begun the construction phase of its new £185million property in Stratford, London.
01/01/2024

Section 430(2B) Companies Act 2006 Statement

Section 430(2B) Companies Act 2006 Statement

Interview: The changing landscape of international students

Bernadette Cochonat, Head of International Sales and Partnerships at Unite Students, has a wealth of experience in the international student space. We caught up with her about her own experiences, what she’s seeing in the sector right now, and what the future will bring in terms of international students’ needs and concerns.

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