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Universities

We work in long-term, trusted partnerships with universities to enhance the student experience.

A trusted partner to universities

Accommodation is ranked as one of the most important factors influencing student wellbeing.

We work with universities to provide their students with a Home for Success – a place where they can grow, belong, and thrive.

“The residential experience is a core part of the student experience. Student accommodation is much more important in the UK than in most other countries.”

– Nick Hillman, Director of the Higher Education Policy Institute

YOU’RE INVITED TO JOIN US AT OUR LIVING BLACK AT UNIVERSITY CONFERENCE

7 March 2023, Newcastle

A new model for student leadership

Our Resident Ambassador Programme

Giving a voice to our students is vital to help them feel like they belong to a community while at university. At every property, we have resident ambassadors who support fellow students and run events. Through them, we are able to understand what matters most to the students in each community and what we can do to best support them. We also provide coaching and guidance for our resident ambassadors to ensure the role is a fulfilling one and develops them as a student.

Resident Ambassador video snippet for universities

Research and insights

Living Black at University

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.

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 - a must-read for all universities and accommodation operators.

Research and insights

The climbing cost of living - Financial tips for students and parents

Our new independent research* has shown that students and parents are extremely worried about the increasing cost of living. We’ve teamed up with Blackbullion, a financial wellbeing platform with financial education and funding for students, to offer help and support for anyone who’s struggling to cope financially.

CASE STUDY
Generation Z

Student expectations are evolving and they want to see improved social space and amenities catering for their interests, as well as the latest technology. Universities also have higher expectations for students’ welfare.

We have trialled a number of new initiatives to respond to the changing needs of students. This included providing more information prior to arrival about accommodation, new features on the MyUnite app and increasing our welfare provision. We have also increased the event activity in properties, building communities for like-minded students who can connect through common interests. These events are run by our Resident Ambassadors who provide peer-to-peer support and host a calendar of activities, enabling students to connect.

Student welfare support

We were the first in the sector to offer a student welfare service. Our in-house emergency contact centre is available 24/7 and students can find additional support via our partnership with Nightline. Almost half of the students who have used our welfare services say they would have left university without this support.

Rent rebates

The pandemic has been a uniquely challenging time for our business, but we took a lead in the sector as the first student accommodation provider to take decisive action on rent rebates. We supported students financially at a total cost of circa £100 million because we understood how important this was for their health, safety and wellbeing.

ResLife is an important part of bringing students together in their accommodation, and will continue to be important in future.

Digital platforms

Our services are developed using in-depth research into the requirements of today’s students. We have invested in digital platforms, including our student website and the MyUnite app, so we can respond quickly to issues related to routine aspects of our services. This helps our staff focus most of their time on areas that matter most to students.

Jenny Shaw summarises what we can expect to see from new students, based on the findings of our recent applicant survey and expert round table.

Blogs

Unite Students’ Living Black at University Report: One year on from publication
It’s been a year since Unite Students published its Living Black at University report – here, we share what we’ve done since to support greater equity for Black students within the sphere of student accommodation, how we’ve partnered with others in the sector, and what’s still to come in 2023.
Living Black at University: Call for case studies
We are inviting the submission of case studies to be included in the Unite Students Commission on Living Black at University's final report, to be published in summer 2023.
Interview: Insights into university partnership working
Moray Notman, University Partner Commercial Director, reflects on over a decade in the sector: how he worked his way up from operations management; the importance of university partnerships; and what 2023 will bring for him and the wider student accommodation market.
‘Creating meaningful change’: A Living Black at University Conference
The Unite Students Commission on Living Black at University is delighted to announce that the Living Black at University Conference will be taking place in Newcastle on Tuesday 7th March 2023. This free one-day event is open to universities, accommodation providers, and diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) leads in the sector.

Newsletter

Sign up to receive Unite Students’ monthly Higher Education newsletter, in which we share a selection of our latest research, blogs, podcasts and video content about student accommodation and wider student life.

You can unsubscribe or update your preferences at any time. Just click the link at the bottom of any email you receive from us or let us know by emailing hello@unitestudents.com

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