Our unparalleled research provides the higher education sector with up-to-date insight into student life.
HOME FOR SUCCESS
Each year we carry out research to provide valuable insight into student accommodation and the wider student experience. As a leader in the sector, our aim is to provide a better understanding of current issues affecting students as well as the wider implications for the purpose-built student accommodation in the UK.
Below are the latest key findings from the last few years.
2023 Applicant Index
A new cohort of students will be arriving at university this autumn – but who are they, what do they need support with, and how confident do they feel about independent living? Find out in our 2023 Applicant Index report.
Journey to a Million
New insight from UCAS is projecting that by 2030, there could be up to one million applicants for Higher Education in the United Kingdom.
Unite Students have partnered with Knight Frank to help drive the UCAS ‘Journey to a Million’ debate and answer the question: 'How do we accommodate a million applicants?'
Meeting the needs of neurodivergent students
Created in collaboration with a student-led organisation, 'An asset, not a problem: Meeting the needs of neurodivergent students' is a new report into the experience of students and applicants who are autistic and/or have ADHD.
With a focus on the transition to university and day-to-day living in student accommodation, the report uses the words of students from Bristol University Neurodiversity Society (BUNS) to articulate their needs and make recommendations about how they could be better supported at university.
Student drug use
Universities UK (UUK) has announced new work in partnership with Unite Students, GuildHE and Independent HE, to set out a common approach to reduce harms from drug use and better tackle supply.
2022 Applicant Index
The Higher Education sector is getting ready for thousands of prospective students to head to university for the first time. But who are 2022’s applicants, and what does the class of 2022 need at university? With a view to starting to answer to these questions, Unite Students is delighted to share our inaugural Applicant Index report, available for download below.
The climbing cost of living
Our new independent research* has shown that students and parents are extremely worried about the increasing cost of living. That’s why 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.
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. Since, we have launched a national commission in order to respond to the findings and recommendations at a national level.
Empty nest syndrome
New independent research commissioned by Unite Students and undertaken by Censuswide, shows that empty nest syndrome is hitting hard, with 98% of parents dropping off a child at university for the first time this autumn saying they have experienced extreme grief.
Students call for stronger action on climate change
Our latest research shows that students are more concerned about climate change than any other issue in 2021 – including the challenges of COVID-19.
Students’ mental health hit by Covid-19
In a survey of 2,000 students, carried out for Unite Students by Yonder Data Solutions, university students say the two biggest struggles as a result of Covid-19 have been the lack of face-to-face teaching and practical experience (79%) and their mental health and wellbeing (77%).
What we’ve learned about 2021’s new students
We shared the findings of our 2021 applicant survey, shedding light on the incoming student cohort’s wellbeing, preparedness for university, and much more. Earlier in June, we also hosted a round table on the needs of new students with a panel of sector experts. Jenny Shaw summarises what we’ve learned from both the survey and round table, and what we can expect to see from those students coming to university in the autumn.
2020 and earlier
Experiences during the COVID-19 Pandemic
We understand that students this year are facing significant challenges by being at university during a global pandemic. We wanted to find out exactly how students are feeling a couple of months into their first months of the new academic year. We surveyed 1,000 UK students to see how they have adjusted
Students keen to get back to university campuses to study and socialise
We carried out research of UK students and parents, with Opinium, who polled 500 students and 500 parents for their thoughts on COVID-19, student safety and returning to university.
The New Realists
The New Realists reveals what going to university means to this generation, and how they navigate their way into and through their first year. For those of us providing student accommodation it’s a valuable insight into what’s important to this year’s students, and how we can support them to get the most from their time at university.
This paper takes a closer look at the subject of student resilience to encourage greater debate, exploration and fresh perspectives. As the paper outlines, while study of student resilience is still very much in its infancy in the UK, there is recognition that student mental wellbeing is a growing challenge, and one which needs greater consideration.
The first major survey of its kind, Reality Check, produced by the Higher Education Policy Institute (HEPI) and Unite Students, shows a significant gap between what university applicants think higher education is like and the realities of student life.
Everyone In - produced by Unite Students, sheds light on the experiences of 6500 students studying in the UK, showing a stark disparity between different groups and the challenges they are more likely to face whilst at university.