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DELIVERING FOR UNIVERSITIES

A trusted partner to universities and the Higher Education sector

A trusted partner

We are proud to be the UK’s leading provider of purpose-built student accommodation (PBSA). Founded in Bristol in 1991, we have decades of experience developing and operating student accommodation across the UK, so we know what works.

Our experience shapes how we are delivering for our customers and universities. We provide high-quality homes, equipped with passionate and committed teams, offering a stand-out student experience where wellbeing is prioritised.

We were named Student Accommodation Operator of the Year for the second year running at Property Week’s RESI Awards 2023. The award recognises our commitment to supporting students’ mental and physical health, as well as our diversity and inclusion initiatives.

Delivering for students and universities

Partnered with more than 60 UK universities, we work closely with the Higher Education sector to improve the student experience in our own buildings and beyond. Through collaborative, insight-led relationships, we support our university partners with bespoke solutions to their accommodation needs and work together to deliver a great living experience for students.

Through our sector-leading thought leadership, we also help universities and the wider Higher Education sector to understand the changing needs of students and applicants. Our research places a strong focus on inclusion, wellbeing and sustainability, while our Accommodation Matters podcast explores emerging sector issues on a monthly basis.

Living Black at University

Giving students a great place to live

Our high-quality properties are located near leading universities, where student demand is strongest.

Our properties offer much more than simply a place to live. We create a Home for Success where students have room to grow and thrive as part of a community, integrating with the local area. Community engagement is embedded within our operational model and our on-site teams encourage students to follow our Home Charter, which promotes responsible behaviour.

Providing a

supportive living environment

A trusted partner to universities and the Higher Education sector

Support to Stay

Our Support to Stay framework aims to give all students a supportive living environment so they can fulfil their potential, particularly when experiencing medical, physical or mental-health difficulties.

All our property teams complete training on a range of student support matters, including support for students with disabilities, safeguarding and signposting students for support. Our Resident Ambassadors also provide important peer-to-peer support to students, and lead on social events within our properties.

Our student assistance programme

Our student assistance programme includes a 24/7 Student Wellbeing Helpline and Digital Therapy initiative which we launched in 2023, adding to our existing welfare support. It provides students with unlimited access to a British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy accredited, 24/7 counselling helpline.

This includes an interpretation service in over 240 languages and online support resources,
including cognitive behavioural therapy. We provide these services through a partnership with Endsleigh Insurance, as part of our Support to Stay framework.

Aldi voucher trial

Earlier this year, we launched a pilot scheme in partnership with Aldi supermarket to distribute food vouchers to students most in need of financial support, at four universities.

Provision was means-tested and recipients were determined by our university partners – Liverpool John Moores University, Middlesex University, Birmingham City University and the University of Westminster.

Blogs

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. 
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.

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