Unite: 12/13/2021 Higher Education Blogs 9 Popular Posts That Defined Unite Students’ 2021

As another unpredictable year draws to a close, we look back on some of our most read articles from 2021 and revisit some of the key ideas we’ve shared this year.

1. The lives of students in confinement: their experiences of living with us during the Covid (January)

Just days after the start of January, England, Scotland and Wales imposed new national restrictions, upsetting each other’s plans for 2021. With universities being forced to teach courses online and with many students unable to return to their homes, higher education was faced with new challenges from both the teaching and perspective of the student experience.

So we caught up with five students to find out what it was like to live with us during the pandemic and how they had coped with everything that was going on, and in the midst of the gloom of a locked January, their resilience really took off. resonated with the Higher Education Sector.

2. Unite Students: a more sustainable place to live (March)

Sustainability in all its forms – the environment; equality, diversity and inclusion; health and wellness – has been on the student agenda for years, and higher education may be ahead of other areas in its work in these areas. But, against a backdrop of increasingly severe environmental warnings, the speed at which improvements need to be made has accelerated.

As such, we shared our new sustainability strategy in March, committing to achieve a net zero level of development and operations by 2030 and greater gender and ethnic diversity in leadership by 2023. Given the scale of the challenge, sustainable development has proven to be a key area. for knowledge sharing in the higher education sector throughout 2021, and we have discussed this at several sector conferences this year.

3. Unite Students stars during the Covid-19 pandemic (April)

The past 18 months have been a challenge not only for students and our university partners, but also for our employees. They were on the front lines, making sure self-isolating students had all the essentials they needed and supporting students who may be alone or grappling with whatever was going on.

Unite Students recognized those who went the extra mile at our internal Stars Awards in April – and so we caught up with some of the winners and nominees whose work with students has been particularly inspiring.

4. The future of student housing: Integrated, flexible, sustainable (Can)

Our strategic team has worked hard to improve the student experience over the past year, with an eye on what the future holds for the student housing industry.

Leading them is Paul sweeney, director of strategy, who appeared on our ‘The future of higher education‘from Accommodation Matters and followed it up with this well-received blog on what that future looks like for student housing – a useful overview of the challenges and opportunities we can anticipate in the years to come.

5. How to support the mental health of Chinese students (Can)

Unite Students has been heavily involved in conversations and industry activities around student mental health in housing for years.

With Chinese students making up the largest demographic of international students in the UK, it is perhaps no surprise that Bernadette CochonatThe in-depth study of Chinese student mental health has proven to be particularly popular: providing insight into the culture surrounding mental health in China, some of the pressures and priorities that are often factors in mental health and well-being. Chinese students, and how this can be most effectively approached from a hosting provider’s perspective.

6. What we learned about next year’s students (June)

Our candidate survey – last conducted in 2019 – returned in the summer of 2021, revealing fascinating information about students who had experienced disruption in learning, socialization and development for more than a year. .

Understanding how their needs differed from those of previous cohorts was essential for the sector to meet those needs as they arrived and transitioned into the university experience, and these needs were summarized by Jenny shaw – as well as the discussion points of our next round table on higher education – in this practical guide of the new 2021 class.

seven. A better policy for support animals in student residences (July)

Based on a strong body of evidence, it is increasingly common for mental health professionals to prescribe a support animal to students with a variety of physical and mental health issues. In light of this, our own support animal policy – which only allowed guide dogs – was no longer adequate.

Student support managers Kerry watson and Guillaume Scott presented our new and improved policy at the AMOSSHE National Conference in July, which Kerry summarized in this popular article.

8. What events do students really want in their accommodation?(September)

Students were able to return to campus with some degree of normality in the fall, thanks to the rollout of vaccination in the UK; Recent data from the ONS shows that as of December, around 90% of students had received at least one vaccine. This included face to face social opportunities.

Our survey of applicants had shown that this cohort favored meeting new people above all else, but had more anxiety about fitting in than students from previous years – events that would bring together like-minded students. ideas were therefore of the utmost importance. This was clearly a shared priority across the industry, as our most read blog in 2021 was this look at our data-driven approach to hosting the events students really wanted in their accommodation.

9. Embedding equality, diversity, inclusion and well-being at Unite Students(November)

As Unite Students provides a home for an increasingly diverse student body, it’s no surprise that our sustainability strategy encompasses goals around Equality, Diversity and Inclusion (EDI). In April, EDI & Well-being Manager Sam kingsley joined us to develop our EDI strategic plan and oversee its implementation.

We caught up with Sam in November to find out what she had learned from the organization since joining, some of the upcoming EDI and wellness policies to be rolled out internally, and how these would benefit students: something to do with it. other organizations clearly want to know more.

You can re-read our 2021 blogs in our Higher Education Blog Archives, and listen to all the 2021 episodes of Accommodation Matters here.

Amanda J. Marsh