Student Accommodation & the Uni Experience: 3 Crucial Factors
For most students, university is their first time moving away from home – and they’re not just looking for a roof overhead or a place to store their books. Expectations have changed from when students wanted nothing more than a place to rest their heads. Now they’re looking for an experience, a community, and a lifestyle.
With help from Unite Students’ 2017 Reality Check Report, it’s time to turn your student accommodation into the ideal student destination, and here’s how:
As we’ve all been told many times before, and as the old saying goes, “You make your friends-for-life at university”. With this in mind, friendships and relationships really are a big deal for students at university. You may think that providing student accommodation doesn’t play a role in this factor, but it does.
32% of students say they would expect to make the most friends through their accommodation. What does this mean for you? It means building a community, offering communal spaces, and providing social activities for your student tenants.
Now, we all know that we can’t be best friends with everyone, and students aren’t naive to this either: 88% indicated that living with like-minded people is more important to them than living in a specific type of accommodation.
How can student accommodation – whether private or not – begin to tackle the task of filling their residences with like-minded people? Simple: sell the experience that students can expect from your accommodation. If you have excellent sports facilities such as a gym or tennis courts, then highlighting these perks and activities will attract a specific niche of active student tenants.
On the other hand, if your accommodation provides tenants with a cinema room, gaming consoles, and pool tables, then it’s your chance to highlight that unique social aspect of your residence. Finding the niche to your accommodation is the key to finding your community of like-minded students.
Amenity space means something different for every student residence – terraced houses are unlikely to have space for a gym or a cinema, for example, but are often blessed with pleasant outdoor spaces. Simply taking advantage of any amenity spaces you can provide will encourage your tenants to make new friends, socialise, and of course, study.
Student calendars are often filled to the brim with social events, whether this is watching the latest film at the cinema with their coursemates, or enjoying a night on the town with their sports team.
The majority of their social events will be held by their Students’ Union. Well, how about changing that and having these gatherings run by their accommodation? It may sound a little out-there, but let’s paint a picture for you:
- 69% hope to integrate with other students through social events held at their accommodation, especially in their first few weeks
- 66% would like to see student-led events throughout the year in their accommodation
- 60% would like their university clubs and societies to use accommodation for student events
So, there you have it, time to get your social-events thinking-cap on to create some experiences your student tenants won’t forget. Social events are a great way to encourage your tenants to get to know one another. Socialising with other tenants will help to boost positivity and morale, and will enhance their overall student experience.
Now, you don’t have to compete with the big club-nights that Students’ Unions put on. Think movie-marathons and gaming tournaments. It’s also a good idea to link with holidays (e.g. Halloween and Christmas) – how about a residence Christmas party?
University and living away from home can be a daunting experience, so whether it’s financial or emotional support, or just general advice, your student tenants will appreciate it all.
47% of students have expressed feelings of anxiety about living with people they have never met. Student residences can help to combat this with on-hand support for students who need it. Having an on-site or an easy-to-access student support team will encourage a positive experience and will ensure a supported lifestyle in your accommodation.
Sometimes, university work piles up, and it’s no surprise that students are often stressed – 63% have actually reported feeling often or always stressed. We know you can’t help the amount of work your student tenants receive, but you can give them a helping hand in completing it. How? Study spaces.
Showcasing a relaxing lifestyle with spacious study rooms will significantly help to reduce the number of students who often or always feel under strain.
One of the most important factors when it comes to student accommodation is, of course, the bedroom. A good night’s sleep is imperative to the wellbeing and productivity of students due to their university workloads.
Support can come in many ways, one being providing your tenants with a comfortable space to unwind in. Giving your students a lifestyle of luxury – when it comes to sleep at night – will prove wonders for their mental wellbeing.
What are you waiting for? Your student accommodation is no longer just a residence. It’s a way of student life. If you want to know more about designing your properties to highlight the lifestyle, experience, and community feel that comes with university, then get in touch. You can also follow us on Twitter @StudentFurn or message us on Facebook.