Make students feel at home with good quality accommodation

August 28th, 2014 Category: Colleges and Higher Education

Students heading to university in autumn 2014 will not be short of choice when it comes to accommodation. There are a wide variety of options for new undergraduates – many of whom will be living away from home for the first time.

Generally speaking, universities guarantee a room for all first-year students. This may be in a halls of residence, or in shared housing owned by the university. Students may choose between the two – depending on whether they want catered or self-catered accommodation.

In many university cities, private sector student apartment blocks are springing up – providing a high quality living experience for residents. They may have access to shared facilities such as launderettes, gyms and leisure rooms, helping to create a halls-like community.

Whatever the preference of individuals, it's important that new undergraduates are able to organise accommodation with the minimum of fuss. It is daunting enough heading off to university for the first time, and most people will have no idea how to go about arranging their own tenancy.

Central accommodation services play an important role in removing this burden from new students, giving them one less thing to worry about. They can also help ensure a great living experience for the new residents by ensuring the facilities are in the best possible condition – fully cleaned, repaired and refurbished after last year's residents moved out.

For many students – particularly in London and the south-east of England – student housing is anything but cheap, especially if they are having to pay for it out of their loan. As such, it is all the more important that their bedroom and communal areas are in fabulous condition before the new residents arrive.

First of all, it helps ensure there will be no complaints from the new resident, and secondly, it encourages them to treat the property with respect. As a facilities manager, the last thing you want to find – when students move out of the first-year accommodation – is that there is damage or deeply-ingrained dirt throughout a property. Nor do you want to have to withhold deposits from former residents unless absolutely necessary.

Providing quality accommodation for first-year students, and maintaining standards during the switchover period in the summer, gets things off to a good start. You want students be pleased with the quality of their housing, and be incentivised to keep it in the best possible condition during their tenancy.