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Higher Education blogs

My experience of university as a Black student

Third-year Journalism student David shares, in his own words, how his university experience has been influenced by his race.

Building a community through events at Unite Students

With the second term in full swing, we spoke to some of our Resident Ambassador Champions to find out more about some of the events that Resident Ambassadors have run so far this academic year, and what they’ve got planned for the year ahead.

Living Black at University report: What you need to know

Today, 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.

How we’re working to improve our local communities

Designed to support sustainability within our buildings, business and the wider communities in which we operate, Positive Impact provides an opportunity to work closely with our university partners on community initiatives.

How Higher Education can support students through loneliness

Kerry Watson, Student Support Manager, shares some insight into loneliness and how we’re aiming to tackle it over January and February.

A Day in the Life of… a Residence Life Warden

We caught up with Leeds-based Residence Life Warden Jan Spalek about his experience of living alongside students at Clarence Dock Village, his insights into creating community through student events, and the clamour for in-person events following the disruption of Covid-19.

Accommodation Matters S03E03: Unite Foundation takeover

The latest episode of Accommodation Matters is now live, and this month, we’re sharing a very special episode: a takeover by the Unite Foundation, in which the panel discusses the university experiences of estranged and care-experienced students.

9 popular articles that defined Unite Students’ 2021

We look back over some of Unite Students' most-read articles of 2021 and what they say about Higher Education's priorities across the year.

Five things we learned from the Student Accommodation 2021 Conference

Jenny Shaw, our Higher Education External Engagement Director, attended and spoke at this year’s Property Week Student Accommodation Conference. Here are her key takeaways from the event – as well as three insights we shared.

30 years of Unite Students

2021 marks Unite Students’ 30th anniversary. From humble beginnings in Bristol to the UK’s largest provider of purpose-built student accommodation (PBSA), based in 25 cities across England, Scotland and Wales, it’s been quite a journey. We've put together a list of 30 milestones we’re most proud of over the last three decades, and spoken to three former residents to find out what it was like to live with us and what they’ve gone on to do since graduating.

CUBO Winter Conference 2021: How we’re decarbonising hot water

Ahead of the launch of our net-zero carbon pathway, James Tiernan - Head of Energy and Environment at Unite Students - shared some of our plans for decarbonising hot water at CUBO’s Winter Conference 2021.

A Day in the Life of… a Service and Sales Advisor

In our feature series A Day in the Life Of…, we introduce some of our people on the front lines at Unite Students, working to make students’ accommodation experience the best it can be. Chaquile Damoah, a London-based Service and Sales Advisor, tells us more about his role, as well as some stories from his time on reception.

The changing role of parents in Higher Education

Our latest episode of Accommodation Matters is now live. This month, we’re taking a deep dive into the role of parents within Higher Education, how this has changed over time, and what this means for students, universities and accommodation providers.

Transgender Awareness Week 2021: Supporting the trans community

15-19 November is Transgender Awareness Week. Garnet Fox, Service and Safety Advisor in Liverpool, shares their experience of being a trans employee at Unite Students, the current risks they face, and the very real consequences that discrimination can bring.

Interview: Embedding Equality, Diversity & Inclusion and Wellbeing at Unite Students

We caught up with Sam Kingsley - our Equality, Diversity & Inclusion (EDI) and Wellbeing Manager - to find out about her work at Unite so far.

‘Look after your mate’: Our new peer support initiative

We’ve launched a pilot of ‘Look after your mate’ workshops for students, to guide them on what to do if a friend is struggling. Jenny Dalzell, Student Support Manager, shares more about this initiative, including what it involves, why we’re doing it, and how we’re doing it.

Providing a safe, stable home for Unite Foundation students

Find out what the Unite Foundation's scholarship students have to say about their experience of university during the pandemic, what improvements they’d like to see, and what it’s been like living in Unite Students’ buildings.

A new model for student leadership: Our updated resident ambassador programme

Unite Students launched its student ambassador scheme in 2016. This year, we’ve overhauled and rebranded it as the resident ambassador scheme; Intrapreneur Pin Yiong shares what the new-look initiative looks like.

A Day in the Life of… a Student Support Manager

In our feature series A Day in the Life Of…, we introduce some of our people on the front lines at Unite Students, working to make students’ accommodation experience the best it can be. This time, our interviewee is Jenny Dalzell, the Student Support Manager for Sheffield, Leeds and Birmingham, who has been with us for two and a half years.

Expectations v Reality of the 2021 Admissions Cycle

Accommodation Matters, our accommodation-focused podcast for the Higher Education sector, is back for a third series. This time, we’re looking back at the 2021 admissions cycle and what it’s meant for students, universities and accommodation providers – as well as what it might mean for the future.

How Mental Health First Aid can support student wellbeing

Ensuring students get the support they need is a priority for us at Unite Students. Student Support Manager Jenny Dalzell explains what Mental Health First Aid is, how it’s embedded into our support service, and how we’ve seen it work in practice.

What we’ve learned about Empty Nest Syndrome

Unite Students recently shared the stark findings of its research on Empty Nest Syndrome. But what is Empty Nest Syndrome, and why is it important for Higher Education to take notice?

Empty Nest Syndrome: How Higher Education can support parents and carers

Unite Students has today shared the findings of its research into Empty Nest Syndrome: the heightened sense of extreme grief that parents and carers may feel when their children leave home for the first time, which may be felt more strongly following an intense time spent with one another during the pandemic.

What events do students really want in their accommodation?

Social opportunities are a key part of students’ university experience and, when held in their accommodation, offer the opportunity to foster a sense of community within their building.

A safe student experience in Leeds with Unite Students

During 2021's welcome week, we spoke to our teams in Leeds – where we operate 11 properties – to find out how they’re going above and beyond to keep students safe as they adapt to living independently and making the most of their student experience.

COVID-19 Update: Updated Safety and Wellbeing Measures – 17th September 2021

With the return to campus well underway for the new academic year, and a majority of Covid-19 restrictions having been lifted across England, Scotland and Wales, Unite Students has adapted its approach to Covid for the year ahead.

All change: Reflections on the Universities UK Conference 2021

Jenny Shaw considers the key messages from the Universities UK National Conference 2021, and what these might mean for student accommodation heading into the new academic year and beyond.

How the pandemic has changed ResLife

Rebecca O'Hare of the University of Leeds shares her insights on the Residence Life sector, some of the revelations that have emerged from the pandemic, and how it might shape it going forwards.

Introducing Unite Students’ improved Student Support service

Jenny Shaw, Student Experience Director, outlines more details about what we're doing to upgrade and clarify our student support offer, which complements the services offered by our university partners.

Preparing for students’ arrival: What Unite Students does over the summer

Alex Bloor shares her experience of what goes on behind the scenes in our properties in order to prepare for the start of a new academic year, and how check-in has evolved over the years.

How has the transition to university changed over the last decade?

With the new academic year rapidly approaching, three Unite Students employees share their experiences of going to university for the first time: what their check-in experience was like, how they adapted to being away from home for the first time, and what's changed since they were freshers.

What do postgraduates want from their student accommodation?

Unite Students is trialling an offer aimed at meeting postgraduate students' needs. Here's all you need to know: why we're doing it, where it's being rolled out, and what it means for postgraduate students living with us.

Yearly digest: A round-up of Unite Students’ 2020/21

We look back over what the last year has brought for Unite Students, and some of the key announcements, research, initiatives and blog posts we've put out in that time.

How we listen to student feedback at Unite Students

Mike Lewis, Insight Manager at Unite Students, shares how we take on board student feedback to improve the service we provide to our residents.

Kickstart: Giving young people an opportunity at Unite Students

Unite Students employs young people as part of the Kickstart scheme. We speak to some of our new Kickstart employees.

Introducing our 2021/22 Return to Campus Partner Pack

Ahead of the new academic year, Unite Students is proud to share the Return to Campus Partner Pack for 2021/22. This pack offers insight and information into how we are preparing for the new academic year, the welcome experience that students will receive on arrival, and some of our key priorities for the coming year.

Accommodation Matters S02E05: Preparing for September (Part 2)

Last month's Accommodation Matters episode laid out the needs, concerns and expectations of incoming students – so in the second episode of this two-parter, we find out how the Higher Education sector is planning to welcome these students, support the particular needs of this cohort, and settle them into their new home.

Doing more to welcome international students in September

Pin Yiong, one of the intrapreneurs working to develop the service we offer at Unite Students, outlines how we’re developing our international student orientation, as well as his own experiences of arriving to study in the UK as an international student.

A better policy for support animals in student accommodation

Kerry Watson shares Unite Students' updated support animals policy, as outlined at the AMOSSHE National Conference 2021, and how university partners will be kept involved in the process.

How Unite Students is preparing for September

We’ve shared our research into incoming students, and behind the scenes at Unite Students we’re using these insights to shape our plans for 2021/22. One thing we’re in no doubt about is the importance of a great welcome to ensure students get off on the right foot in their Home for Success.

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