Unite Students Accommodation Matters
S04E05: Postgraduates’ accommodation needs

S04E05: Postgraduates’ accommodation needs

July 5, 2022

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 exploring the postgraduate accommodation market, asking: who are the UK’s postgraduates? What do they want from their accommodation? And what are the challenges they face in accessing it?

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

  • Rebecca O’Hare, Assistant Director (Residence Life & Accommodation Office) at the University of Leeds
  • Fiona Maingi, Digital Marketing MSc student at Royal Holloway, University of London
  • James Ballard, Innovation Manager at Unite Students

We’re also joined by special contributors Dr Diana Beech – CEO at London Higher – to give us a picture of postgraduate numbers, trends and motivators, and Caroline Persaud, Registrar at Goodenough College, to share a case study on Goodenough College’s specialist postgraduate accommodation offer.

The Higher Education Statistics Agency (HESA)'s data on postgraduate numbers is available here.

Unite Students' postgraduate building trial is outlined in further detail at the Unite Students website.

Accommodation Matters was recorded on 21st and 27th June 2022 and was produced by Ed Palmer.

In Conversation, Episode 1: Hillary Gyebi-Ababio

In Conversation, Episode 1: Hillary Gyebi-Ababio

June 21, 2022

This summer, Unite Students is sharing ‘Accommodation Matters: In Conversation’: a 3-episode 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.

Hosted by Jenny Shaw, Higher Education External Engagement Director, this first episode features Hillary Gyebi-Ababio, outgoing Vice President for Higher Education at the National Union of Students (NUS).

Hear Hillary's thoughts on community-building, student accommodation, student-led initiatives, and reflections on her time at the NUS in this thoughtful and insightful conversation.

You can learn more about Unite Students' Living Black at University research report here, and about Black People Talk at their website here.

Accommodation Matters: In Conversation is produced by Ed Palmer and was recorded on 11th May 2022.

New series trailer: In Conversation

New series trailer: In Conversation

June 17, 2022

This summer, Unite Students is bringing you brand new mini-series In Conversation.

Host Jenny Shaw speaks to sector experts one-on-one for an in-depth discussion about their Higher Education experience, insights and future predictions. We'll be bringing you three episodes over the summer in addition to our monthly Accommodation Matters episode.

Tune in to Episode 1, an interview with the National Union of Students' Hillary Gyebi-Ababio, launching on Tuesday 21st June!

S04E04: Lessons from around the world

S04E04: Lessons from around the world

June 7, 2022

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 going around the world to hear about what student accommodation looks like across different markets. Discussion points include the differences between student accommodation provision in the UK, United States and Australia, how each market caters to significant international student numbers, and the preferences of domestic students.

Host Jenny Shaw is joined by an expert international sector panel made up of:

  • Marion Bayley, Chief Executive Officer at Deakin Residential Services and President of the Asia-Pacific Student Accommodation Association (APSAA)
  • Tim Daplyn, Director of Strategy and Partnerships at Global Student Living
  • Emelie Helsen, Campus Manager at Coventry University London
  • Pin Yiong, Intrapreneur at Unite Students

Accommodation Matters was recorded on 23rd May 2022 and produced by Ed Palmer.

Accommodation Matters S04E03: The future of student mental health

Accommodation Matters S04E03: The future of student mental health

May 9, 2022

Content warning: This episode contains discussion of sensitive topics including suicide, eating disorders and domestic violence. If you need support with the topics discussed in this episode, there are organisations such as Mind (0300 123 3393), Samaritans (116 123) or Student Minds that can help you in complete confidence.

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 looking at the future of student mental health, including current student mental health trends, the latest thinking in the student support sector, and what this means for the future of student mental health.

Talking points include the legacy of Covid-19 on student mental health, how universities and accommodation providers are collaborating on matters of student support, student suicide prevention, and the future of student mental health provision.

Host Jenny Shaw is joined by an expert sector panel made up of:

  • Professor Jo Smith, Professor of Early Intervention and Psychosis at University of Worcester
  • David Malpas, Director of Student Affairs at Middlesex University
  • Becca Hayhurst, Head of Student Support at Unite Students

You can find the resources and organisations mentioned in the episode below:

Unite Students is the UK’s largest provider of PBSA, housing around 74,000 students in our 172 properties, which are based in 25 leading university towns and cities. We currently partner with over 60 universities across the UK.

Accommodation Matters was recorded on 27th April 2022 and produced by Ed Palmer.

S04E02: The rising cost of living

S04E02: The rising cost of living

April 5, 2022

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 looking at the cost of living crisis: how it’s affecting students, what this means in the context of student accommodation, and what it might mean for the future.

Host Jenny Shaw is joined by an expert sector panel made up of:

  • Vivi Friedgut, Founder and CEO of Blackbullion
  • Lynne Condell, formerly Manager of Student Money Advice at Liverpool John Moores University
  • Michelle Etchells, Head of Corporate Shared Services at Unite Students

You can read more about our cost of living research here, as well as our ‘Climbing Cost of Living’ guide for parents and students – produced with Blackbullion – here.

Unite Students is the UK’s largest provider of PBSA, housing around 74,000 students in our 172 properties, which are based in 25 leading university towns and cities. We currently partner with over 60 universities across the UK.

Accommodation Matters was recorded on 22nd March 2022 and produced by Ed Palmer.

S04E01: Living Black at University

S04E01: Living Black at University

February 17, 2022

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.

In February, Unite Students launched Living Black At University, the first report into the experiences of Black students in student accommodation; you can download the report here. This episode of Accommodation Matters features the highlights of our launch event, including an overview of findings, panel discussion and Q&A session.

Introduced by Jenny Shaw, Higher Education External Engagement Director at Unite Students, and chaired by HEPI director Nick Hillman, the panel features sector experts:

  • Sam Kingsley, Senior EDI & Wellbeing Manager at Unite Students
  • Hillary Gyebi-Ababio, Vice President for Higher Education at National Union of Students
  • Professor Iyiola Solanke, Chair in EU Law & Social Justice and Dean for Equality, Diversity and Inclusion at the University of Leeds
  • Osaro Otobo, Consultant at Halpin Partnership and Project Manager for Living Black at University

The Living Black at University launch event was run in partnership with the Higher Education Policy Institute (HEPI) on 3rd February 2022 and can be viewed in full here.

Unite Students is the UK’s largest provider of student accommodation, providing homes to 74,000 students across 172 properties in 25 leading university towns and cities. We currently partner with over 60 universities across the UK.

Accommodation Matters was produced by Ed Palmer.

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.

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