Unite Students Accommodation Matters
S03E03: Unite Foundation takeover

S03E03: Unite Foundation takeover

December 15, 2021

Accommodation Matters brings sector experts together to discuss the Higher Education sector’s key issues through the lens of student accommodation.

This month’s episode is a takeover by the Unite Foundation, an independent charity that supports estranged and care-experienced students through university with a unique scholarship that supports their bills and accommodation throughout the duration of their course. Unite Students is proud to be the Foundation’s accommodation partner of choice.

Featuring two former Unite Foundation students, the panel delves into how the student experience differs for care-experienced and estranged students, how the Higher Education sector has adapted to better accommodate the needs of these students in the past decade, and what more it can do in future.

Fiona Ellison – Director of the Unite Foundation - steps in as host for this episode, and is joined by a panel of:

  • Dr Peter Tormey, Senior Widening Participation Officer at Edinburgh Napier University
  • Bethia Green, former Unite Foundation student
  • Sherique, former Unite Foundation student

You can find out more about the Unite Foundation - including its own podcast This Is Us, and information on how to donate - from its website, https://thisisusatuni.org/.

Unite Students is the UK’s largest provider of PBSA, housing around 74,000 students in our 173 properties, which are based in 25 leading university towns and cities.

Accommodation Matters was recorded on 7th December 2021 and produced by Ed Palmer.

S03E02: The changing role of parents in Higher Education

S03E02: The changing role of parents in Higher Education

November 18, 2021

Accommodation Matters brings sector experts together to discuss the Higher Education sector’s key issues through the lens of student accommodation.

This month, we’re taking a deep dive into parents and their role within Higher Education, covering how parents engage in their child’s university experience, what this means for students, and the impact on student accommodation.

Jenny Shaw – our Higher Education External Engagement Director - steps in as host for this episode, and is joined by an expert sector panel made up of:

  • Dr Dominique Thompson, GP, author and student mental health expert
  • Vicki Johnson, Associate Director of Campus and Residential Services at Leeds Beckett University
  • Louise Bena, Chief Marketing Officer at Student Crowd
  • Vicki Simmons, Area Manager for Birmingham at Unite Students

You can read more about our Empty Nest Syndrome survey findings on the Unite Students website, as well as Dr Thompson’s parents’ guide to empty nesting.

Student Crowd’s data on the influence of parents can be found here.

Unite Students is the UK’s largest provider of PBSA, housing around 74,000 students in our 173 properties, which are based in 25 leading university towns and cities.

Accommodation Matters was recorded on 15th November 2021 and produced by Ed Palmer.

S03E01 - Expectations v reality of the admissions cycle

S03E01 - Expectations v reality of the admissions cycle

October 20, 2021

Accommodation Matters brings sector experts together to discuss the Higher Education sector’s key issues through the lens of student accommodation.

Series 3 kicks off with a look at the 2021 admissions cycle and what it’s meant for students, universities and accommodation providers. Talking points include how universities have met the needs of an expanded student cohort, the picture of this year’s return to campus, and how this admissions cycle has impacted on accommodation strategy both this year and for the future.

Host Darren Ellis is joined by an expert sector panel made up of:

  • Vanessa Wilson, CEO of University Alliance
  • Wendy Roberts, Director of Staff and Student Accommodation at University of Warwick
  • Robert Garnish, Commercial Services Director at University of Glasgow
  • Karan Khanna, Chief Customer Officer at Unite Students

You can read more about our Empty Nest Syndrome survey findings on the Unite Students website, as well as our parents’ guide to empty nesting.

Unite Students is the UK’s largest provider of PBSA, housing around 74,000 students in our 173 properties, which are based in 25 leading university towns and cities.

Accommodation Matters was recorded on 13th October 2021 and produced by Ed Palmer.

S02E05 - Preparing for September (Part 2)

S02E05 - Preparing for September (Part 2)

July 27, 2021

Accommodation Matters brings sector experts together to discuss the Higher Education sector’s key issues through the lens of student accommodation.

In the second episode of our ‘Preparing for September’ two-parter, our panel of expert sector guests discuss their plans to welcome students to campus in September, how they’ll be meeting students’ needs (as discussed in the previous episode), and how adaptable these plans are in the face of an uncertain situation with Covid-19.

Host Darren Ellis is joined by an expert sector panel made up of:

  • Einita Suman, Director of Accommodation and Operations at University of Birmingham
  • Rebecca O’Hare, Assistant Director of Residence Life and Accommodation at University of Leeds
  • Clare Ody, Head of Customer Experience at Unite Students

Unite Students’ applicant survey data can be found here.

For a summary of Maslow’s hierarchy of needs, please refer to Simple Psychology’s explainer article, available here.

More information about the Scottish pilot scheme to allow on-campus quarantines for students from red list countries is outlined here.

Unite Students is the UK’s largest provider of PBSA, housing around 74,000 students in our 173 properties, which are based in 25 leading university towns and cities.

Accommodation Matters was recorded on 21st July 2021 and produced by Ed Palmer.

S02E04 - Preparing for September (Part 1)

S02E04 - Preparing for September (Part 1)

June 29, 2021

Accommodation Matters brings sector experts together to discuss the Higher Education sector’s key issues through the lens of student accommodation.

In the first episode of a two-parter that focuses on preparing for September, our panel of expert sector guests discusses September’s incoming student cohort; their needs, anxieties and expectations, and how the sector can respond to those concerns.

Host Darren Ellis is joined by an expert sector panel made up of:

  • Sunday Blake, President at the University of Exeter Students’ Guild
  • Wayne Templeman, Director of Sixth Form at St Bonaventure’s school
  • Adrian Clark, Student Health and Wellbeing Manager at University of London
  • Simon Jones, Business Development Director at Unite Students

Unite Students’ applicant survey data can be found here.

A summary of the findings from both the survey and the expert round table on new students' needs, written by Jenny Shaw, is available here.

Unite Students is the UK’s largest provider of PBSA, housing around 74,000 students in our 173 properties, which are based in 25 leading university towns and cities.

Accommodation Matters was recorded on 22nd June 2021 and produced by Ed Palmer.

S02E03 - Diversity and Inclusion in Higher Education

S02E03 - Diversity and Inclusion in Higher Education

May 28, 2021

Accommodation Matters brings sector experts together to discuss the Higher Education sector’s key issues through the lens of student accommodation.

This month, our panel considers race and inclusion in Higher Education after a year that has thrown race equality into sharp focus across all walks of life. Our guests delve into what work had already been done in the sector prior to 2020, how much last year’s events accelerated an existing appetite for change within the sector, and how universities and student accommodation can be more inclusive spaces where staff and students of all races can flourish.

Host Darren Ellis is joined by an expert sector panel made up of:

Shakira Martin, Head of Student Experience at Rose Bruford College

Mhairi Taylor, Head of Equality, Diversity and Inclusion at University of Glasgow

Alex Mormoris, Inclusion Manager at London Metropolitan University

Sam Kingsley, Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Manager at Unite Students

 

To learn more about Unite Students’ research into Black students’ university experience, head to Halpin’s project website here, and email unitestudents@halpinpartnership.comto take part.

The Equality and Human Rights Commission’s report on racial harassment in universities in England, Scotland and Wales is available here at the Commission’s website.

Aiming Higher, the Runnymede Trust’s major 2015 report on race and higher education, is available for download here.

You can learn more about Glasgow University’s action planon racism and racial harassment on campus here and London Metropolitan University’s Race Equity Strategy here.

 

Unite Students is the UK’s largest provider of PBSA, housing around 74,000 students in our 173 properties, which are based in 25 leading university towns and cities.

Accommodation Matters was recorded on 25th May 2021 andproduced by Alex Parsons.

S02E02 - Future of Higher Education

S02E02 - Future of Higher Education

April 30, 2021

Accommodation Matters, bringing sector experts together to discuss the Higher Education sector’s key issues through the lens of student accommodation.

Our April edition is all about the future of Higher Education, with Alister Wilson of Waverley Management Consultants providing provocations on what this might look like. Our panel considers the impact of Covid on established modes of university teaching and learning, the changing nature of jobs and skills as we enter the Fourth Industrial Revolution, and how course structures might change to accommodate lifelong learning.

Darren Ellis returns as host, and he’s joined by:

  • Professor Sue Rigby, Vice Chancellor at Bath Spa University
  • Ian Dunn, Provost at Coventry University
  • Paul Sweeney, Chief Strategy Officer at Unite Students

Unite Students is the UK’s largest provider of PBSA, housing around 74,000 students in our 173 properties, which are based in 25 leading university towns and cities.

Accommodation Matters was produced by Alex Parsons.

S02E01 - Sustainability

S02E01 - Sustainability

March 25, 2021

Accommodation Matters is back for a new season, bringing sector experts together to discuss the Higher Education sector’s key issues through the lens of student accommodation.

This season kicks off with a look at environmental sustainability: why sustainability movements have gained traction in recent years; how sustainability is relevant to the Higher Education sector; and what universities, accommodation providers and students are doing to shape a more sustainable world.

Darren Ellis returns as host, and he’s joined by:

  • Andy Nolan, Development and Sustainability Director at the University of Nottingham
  • Jade Monroe, Interim Director of Education at SOS UK, which is the National Union of Students’ sustainability charity, representing 7 million students in higher and further education
  • James Tiernan, Head of Energy and Environment at Unite Students

James Tiernan and Andy Nolan will be speaking at the AUDE Conference 2021 from 12-16 April 2021 - you can read more about the conference at https://www.aude.ac.uk/events/annual-conference/.

Find more about Unite Students’ Sustainability Strategy here: https://www.unite-group.co.uk/responsibility/our-sustainability-commitments-16-march-2021

SOS UK’s latest Sustainability Skills Survey report is available here: www.tinyurl.com/8c9m9k9s

Learn more about the National Union of Students’ Green Impact programme here: http://greenimpact.nus.org.uk/

The University of Nottingham’s Green Rewards app can be found here: https://apps.apple.com/gb/app/uon-green-rewards/id1554090130

The Environmental Association of Universities and Colleges can be found at https://www.eauc.org.uk/

Accommodation Matters was produced by Alex Parsons.

S01E05 - The story so far

S01E05 - The story so far

January 15, 2021

In September 2020, Unite Students launched the Accommodation Matters podcast, recognising the need for a space to discuss the implications of Covid-19 for universities and accommodation providers, and how these have impacted, and will impact, on students’ living and residential experience.

 

Our host Darren Ellis, Higher Education Engagement Director at Unite Students, takes us through a selection of our highlights so far in this series break special episode – so sit back, listen and enjoy! We’ll be back with a brand new episode in February, so subscribe to our channel to be notified of the latest updates.

S01E04 - International Students

S01E04 - International Students

December 11, 2020

Host Darren Ellis returns with a new panel of experts to tackle the subject of international students in the UK.

In this episode, the panel discusses how recruitment efforts have been adapted in light of Covid, which markets we’ll be looking to for the next generation of international students, and how accommodation teams can make sure they have a great experience living and studying in the UK.

Darren is joined by:

· Sir Steve Smith, the government’s International Education Champion and former Vice Chancellor of the University of Exeter

· Vivienne Stern, Director of Universities UK International

· Dr Paul Greatrix, Registrar at the University of Nottingham

· Sheena Birch, Commercial Director at Unite Students

You can read Universities UK International’s 2019 report ‘International student recruitment: Why aren’t we second?’ here. Insights into UCAS’s early 2021/22 application data can be found here. A summary of IDP Connect’s Crossroads III research is here.

Accommodation Matters was produced by Alex Parsons.

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