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Blogs

What you need to know about postgraduate accommodation

Who are the UK's postgraduates? What do they want from their accommodation? And what are the challenges they face in accessing it? We delve into the topic of postgraduate accommodation with help from expert sector guests.
01/07/2022
Corporate blogs

PRIDE: “I can thrive and be myself at Unite Students”

On the 50th anniversary of the UK’s first official pride march, we’ve caught up with two of our LGBTQ+ employees to understand what working at Unite Students in 2022 means for them.

Interview: A more collaborative approach to student support

In January, Becca Hayhurst joined the organisation as our new Head of Student Support. We caught up with Becca to find out how she’s finding her role, what she’s been up to since joining, and details of our new student support strategy.

Living Black at University Commission: themes from our first meeting

The Unite Students Commission on Living Black at University recently held its first in-person meeting in Birmingham, on the topic of integration – here are some of the key themes that emerged from the meeting.

How can we better prepare students for university living?

Data shows that students’ expectations for university life don’t meet with their experience. So what can the Higher Education sector do to bridge the gap and better reflect the reality of student living to prospective applicants?

In Conversation with… Hillary Gyebi-Ababio

Jenny Shaw speaks to Hillary Gyebi-Ababio, outgoing Vice President for Higher Education at the National Union of Students (NUS), about students, community and her time at NUS.

‘In Conversation’: A new Higher Education podcast mini-series

This summer, Unite Students is launching ‘In Conversation’: a podcast mini-series, showcasing in-depth discussions with 3 Higher Education sector experts about their experiences, sector insights, and what they anticipate for the future. Jenny Shaw, Higher Education External Engagement Director and series host, shares more.
15/06/2022
Blogs

10,000 BLACK INTERNS: Providing opportunities for all

In June, we welcomed nine interns to Unite Students as part of our partnership with 10,000 Black Interns.

Belonging: How we’re creating room for everyone at Unite Students

A sense of belonging is essential to a positive working and living experience, underpinned by factors including equality, diversity and inclusion (EDI) and wellbeing. As such, Unite Students is shifting away from the phrase ‘EDI’ and towards new language which more precisely captures the holistic nature of inclusion.

HEPI Annual Conference: 6 takeaways for student accommodation

Jenny Shaw, Higher Education External Engagement Director, attended the Higher Education Policy Institute (HEPI)’s annual conference on 9th June – here are her key takeaways for the student accommodation sector.
07/06/2022
Podcasts

What can UK accommodation providers learn from overseas PBSA?

What does student accommodation look like in different markets, and how does the UK’s provision differ from the US and Australia? Learn more from the lively, informative discussion in this month’s episode of Accommodation Matters.

What you need to know about the widening student gender money gap

Following on from our recent cost of living research, Vivi Friedgut – Founder and CEO of Blackbullion – explores an unexpected finding from their Student Money & Wellbeing report, published this year.

Mental Health Awareness Week 2022: Being there for estranged LGBTQ+ students

Family estrangement is sadly all too common for LGBTQ+ students. For Mental Health Awareness Week 2022, Fiona Ellison - Director of the Unite Foundation - shares what the Foundation is doing to support estranged and care experienced LGBTQ+ students, and what Higher Education institutions can do to support their mental health and wellbeing.

What’s next for the future of student mental health?

We take a deep-dive into current student mental health trends, the latest thinking in the student support sector, and what this means for the future of student mental health.
05/05/2022
Corporate blogs

Benefits of purpose-built student accommodation – creating value for local communities

Growth in student numbers in the UK shows no sign of abating. Students need homes, and many live in Houses of Multiple Occupancy (HMOs), putting pressure on local housing. With HMOs in London containing an average of 2.5 people, a new 1,000-bed student accommodation scheme would potentially free up 400 homes. This is the scale of the problem that purpose-built student accommodation providers could solve.

5 ways to help students feel they belong in their accommodation

In the second of a two-part series, Jenny Shaw – Higher Education External Engagement Director at Unite Students – offers her insights into helping students to feel a sense of belonging in their accommodation.

Doing more for Muslim students in UK student accommodation

With the number of Muslim students in the UK likely to grow in the coming years, we look at what challenges they face, and how we’re supporting our Muslim community at Cambrian Point, Cardiff, to celebrate Ramadan.

Supporting LGBTQ+ students at National Student Pride

Unite Students was proud to be a Gold Sponsor of National Student Pride, the UK’s biggest LGBT+ student event, last weekend (8-10th April). Here’s what we did at the event, why we did it, and what we’re doing to support LGBTQ+ students and employees here at Unite.

“It’s a bit scary”: Risk, belonging and higher education

A new Social Market Foundation report, sponsored by Unite Students, outlines how social patterning can influence prospective students' choice to go to university. Jenny Shaw, Higher Education External Engagement Director at Unite Students, outlines how the risk of not belonging can also affect the choice to go to university, and the impact that familiar, trusted careers advice can have on this.

What does the cost of living crisis mean for students?

The current UK cost of living crisis is affecting everyone, and students are no exception. Three experts share what the sector needs to know about the current situation, including our new survey data on the topic.

Accommodation Matters S04E02: The rising cost of living

Our latest episode of Accommodation Matters delves into the big topic of the moment - the cost of living crisis, and what it means for students and their accommodation.

Leading the sector: My ASRA manifesto

Sarah Reynolds, Area Manager at Unite Students, is the new chair of ASRA. Here, she outlines her sector experience, why she put herself forward for the role, and what her plans are for ASRA.

What does student accommodation look like for Gen Z?

Adapted from a presentation given at the 2022 ASRA Conference this week by Pin Yiong and Victoria Simmons, intrapreneur Ericka Yabut outlines some of the key characteristics of Gen Z, how this drives what they want from student accommodation, and what we’re doing to accommodate this.
08/03/2022
Corporate blogs

International Women’s Day: Five Unite Students employees share their experiences of equality

International Women’s Day is an opportunity to celebrate the social, economic and cultural achievements of all women. Here, five Unite Students employees provide an insight – in their own words - into their experiences of gender equality.

Combatting loneliness through our Winter Wellbeing campaign

Jenny Dalzell – Student Support Manager at Unite Students – shares some insights from our recent Winter Wellbeing campaign against loneliness.

How has the LGBTQ+ student experience changed over time?

Unite Students is proud to share that we are sponsors of National Student Pride for 2022. As part of LGBT History Month, founder Tom Guy and colleague Celine share their experiences of being LGBTQ+ students at university 14 years apart, what has changed since then, and why National Student Pride was founded.

Accommodation Matters S04E01: Living Black at University

Accommodation Matters is back for 2022 with a new season! In this first instalment, we share the highlights of our Living Black at University launch event and discussion panel.

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.

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