Uncategorised 9 August 2019

The biggest student accommodation trends of 2019

By Downing

By Tariq Akbar, Head of Operations at Downing Students

There are plenty of articles online about what students don’t like, but what about what they do like? At Downing Students, we’re committed to keeping on top of the latest trends to ensure our students are getting a first-class experience.

We understand that the accommodation students choose is more than just a place to study; it’s a place to make your own, to relax, to make lifelong friends and create memories.

Here’s Downing Students’ round up of the key trends to be aware of in the student accommodation sector:

Smart homes

One of the biggest priorities on any students’ list when selecting their accommodation is the Wi-Fi and general connectivity of the building. Fast and reliable broadband is now being considered the fourth utility after water, gas and electricity, and with students often bringing up to four devices each, secure and strong internet coverage is key in managing building connectivity and resident satisfaction.

According to a Higher Education Statistical Agency (HESA) study from 2018, 19% of university students in the UK are international. To help our overseas students keep in touch with family and friends back home, it’s essential that the right infrastructure is in place to ensure strong connectivity 24 hours a day.

All of Downing Students’ residences use machines operated by Circuit Laundry, which includes a handy and free app for students to download and check machine availability from the comfort of their own room. We also operate an online hub where students can log any maintenance issues and give them the peace of mind that our team are always at hand to resolve any problems they’re experiencing.

Training your onsite team

Leaving home and settling into university life can be a major transitional period for some students and finding that work-life balance isn’t always smooth sailing.

Training your on-site team to recognise the signs of an unhappy or stressed student, and equipping them with the right advice and support, is just one of the many solutions.

Downing Students ensures all hall managers on site have attended mental health first aid training to make sure students are happy, safe and supported during their stay with us. Social spaces can help to positively boost the moods of those who may be feeling low, and provides them with a place to interact and make friends. Encouraging and influencing a community culture will help to build relationships and trust between residents and the pastoral care team.

Privacy & Socialising

Striking the right balance between private and social space has been at the centre of the designs for our accommodation schemes across the UK.

While internal layouts should be open plan as much as possible to cater to students social needs, it’s also increasingly important that students have a private space to retreat to should they need it.

The design of communal areas should encourage and support socialising and inclusivity, giving residents an opportunity to meet and interact with those in their building. Downing Students offer residents a variety of games rooms, lounge rooms, roof terraces and cinema rooms, providing students with space to socialise and relax. The accommodations ability to strike the right balance between open social areas and secure private safe spaces are one of the many things students seek out in potential accommodations.

Bills included

The financial pressures linked with university can lead to periods of stress – with nine in 10 students reporting high levels of stress, according to an NUS study.

As an experienced accommodation provider, we want to help alleviate some of the added stress that comes with paying up four different bills every month.

That’s why all of our student developments are bills-inclusive.

All-inclusive accommodations appeal to even the most prepared and money-savvy students, resulting in one less thing to worry about at the end of the month.  According to a Purple Frog Property survey from 2018, 58.8% of respondents rated having bills-included in rent as an important influence on their chose of student accommodation.

A people-focused approach

The student accommodation sector is an ever-changing landscape, with new trends cropping up every year. At Downing Students, we’re committed to staying ahead of the curve and ensuring that all of our developments reflect what our customers want – a sense of community, security, high-speed connectivity and an all-inclusive payment are just some of the ways that we strive to achieve this.

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