Information and Advice on Coronavirus in Student Accommodation for Housing Supplier – New Updates

Updates have been made to the information and advice on coronavirus in student accommodation for housing suppliers page. New content includes:

  • Messaging for Students
  • Guidance on COVID Self Isolation
  • New Buildings Coming On-Line in Summer 2021

A blog from the ICO: Sharing Personal Data in an Emergency – a Guide for Universities and Colleges

The Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) has recently published a blog piece noting specific guidance for data sharing within the context of Higher and Further Education. Following feedback from Code members on some difficulties faced in sharing data with Universities, this specific insight includes practical steps to take to make this process easier.

Members may find this guidance useful when looking to build relationships and agreements with your local institutions, particularly with regards to sharing information on student mental health and wellbeing. The ICO states:

Put simply, university and college staff should do whatever is necessary and proportionate to protect someone’s life. Data protection law allows organisations to share personal data in an urgent or emergency situation, including to help them prevent loss of life or serious physical, emotional or mental harm.”

The ICO also provides various resources below:

ICO Data Sharing Code of Practice

Data sharing in an urgent situation or in an emergency

ICO Data sharing information Hub

Accommodation Costs Survey 2021 now closed – Big Thankyou!

The Accommodation Costs Survey 2021 officially closed on Monday 20th September. Despite the challenges of both intake and COVID-19, the survey had records levels of participation, covering over 480,000 bed spaces across the University and private sector.

Unipol would like to thank to every provider and University who has taken part, without your participation, enthusiasm and trust this survey would not be possible.

Unipol would also like to extend their thanks to a number of sector bodies who kindly assisted in promoting the survey and encouraging participation – National Union of Students, ASRA, CUBO, and Universities Scotland.

For all participants of the survey, you will receive a free invite to the survey report launch on 10th December in London, more details will follow in due course.

Joint Codes Conference 2021

Following a virtual edition of the conference in 2020, the Joint Codes Conference is returning in-person on 12th November 2021 at the British Library in London.

Following an unprecedented 18 months for the sector, the theme for this year’s conference is Collaboration, Cooperation and Communication. Sessions will also include a briefing on the changes to the Code for Non-educational establishments and dealing with complaints. Booking information and a full agenda will be circulated in early October.

Unipol Training and Events – Book Your Place Now

Unipol Training and Events has launched an initial programme of training events to cover Autumn 2021 and early 2022.

Members of the National Codes are also able to book paid Unipol training and events at the reduced Friends of Unipol rate.

A number of events are now available to book via the website:

Understanding HE and National Codes for PBSA – An Intro for New Staff

  • This webinar will provide an introduction to the sector and focus on looking at students within the context of the Higher Education, and how PBSA plays a key role in supporting academic and pastoral success.
  • This brand new event is being offered free for members of the ANUK/Unipol National Codesfor purpose built student accommodation, to support in the development of new and existing staff. Each member can book up to two free places per event.
  • There are two dates available to book below:

Mental Health in the Workplace – Creating and Supporting Sustainable Wellbeing for Staff Working in PBSA

  • The impact on staff in supporting students mental health cannot be underestimated. It is essential that workplace wellbeing is at the heart of the PBSA ethos. This course will look at the relationship between work and mental health, and what interventions employers can undertake to support their staff.
  • This session is ideal for staff with management or supervisory responsibility
  • Unipol is pleased to offer this course in-person at the Unipol Offices in Leeds
    • Normal Delegate Rate: £255
    • Friends of Unipol Rate: £235
  • Book your place here

Mental Health First Aid

  • Unipol is pleased to offer further session of the internationally recognised Mental Health First Aid (MHFA). This course is being delivered onlineexclusively for staff working within student accommodation, and will enable networking and sharing of experiences with peers operating in this distinctive sector.
  • Please note: In order to receive the MHFA qualification, participants must attend all 4 live sessions and also complete the required online independent learning.
  • Book your place here

Drugs and Alcohol in Purpose Built Student Accommodation

  • This one-day course is designed for staff that work in student accommodation and who may see alcohol and other drugs as an issue for some of their tenants. The course provides an introduction to the history, effects and potential harms of alcohol and other drugs, and the reasons why some people use, or misuse, them.
  • Unipol is pleased to offer this course in-person at the Unipol Offices in Leeds
    • Normal Delegate Rate: £145
    • Friends of Unipol Rate: £130
  • Book your place here

Complaints Data

From 1st September 2020 to 31st August 2021 the National Code Complaints and Enquiries received 320 complaints (compared with 276 at the same time in 2020) and the top 5 causes of complaint were:

Seeks release/refund 175
Repairs 26
Contract/rent 15
Condition upon arrival 14
Unprofessional behaviour 14

Notably, complaints citing unprofessional behaviour have increased and are now part of the top 5 in the spot previously held by deposits.

314 complaints have been resolved (221 by the supplier, 92 by the investigator, 1 case has been resolved by a Tribunal and 6 cases remain open).

Complaints by Month 2020-2021
2020 Number of Complaints
September  16
October  27
November  22
December 18
January 28
February 79
March  46
April 23
May 20
June 19
July 8
August  14
Total 320