Wednesday 27 November 2019

Garden Halls, Malet Street, London, WC1E 7HU


Affordability in Student Housing - What Does it Mean for Students, Providers, Developers and Policy Makers

In partnership with the University of London

The term “affordability” can mean many different things to many different people. This one day seminar brings together a team of experts to explore why affordability is important, how it can be achieved and, most importantly, what the term actually means.

Suitable for - all those dealing with the development and allocation of student accommodation in both the educational and the private sector.


Spaces available

Make a booking


9.15am - 9.30amRegistration (Tea and coffee available)

9.30am - 9.45amIntroduction of Delegates

9.45am - 10.25amWhat Does Affordability Mean? Reflections on the Augur Review, information from the Unipol/NUS Accommodation Cost Survey and How Affordability is Developing, Martin Blakey, Chief Executive Unipol Student Homes and Sarah Jones, Independent Consultant

10.25am - 10.40amQuestions and discussion

10.40am - 11.00amAffordability and the Student Consumer: Rory Hughes, Policy Officer (Welfare) The National Union of Students

11.00am - 11.10amQuestions and discussion

11.10am - 11.25amBreak (Tea and coffee available)

11.25am - 11.50amWhy Affordability in Student Accommodation Matters: Dom Kingaby Higher Education: Widening Participation & Student Experience Division, Department for Education

11.50am - 12.20pmCase Study: Affordability at the University of Edinburgh: Thoughts on how to price a large portfolio and maintaining range and choice, Richard Kington, Director Accommodation, Catering and Events, the University of Edinburgh

12.20pm - 12.30pmQuestions and discussion

12.30pm - 1.20pmLunch (provided)

1.20pm - 1.50pmAffordability in London: The University of London’s Approach and the aims and initial outcomes of the London Plan, Roland Shanks, Strategic Projects Manager (Estates), the University of London

1.50pm - 2.20pmCase Study: Affordability and Kings College, London: KAAS - a transparent Affordability Policy and its practical effects, Philip Cox, Head of Operations - Student Residences, King’s Residences London - To be confirmed

2.20pm - 2.40pmQuestions and discussions

2.40pm - 2.55pmBreak (Tea and coffee available)

2.55pm - 3.25pmCase Study: Affordability at the University of Kent: Mapping Supply and Demand, Derek Goss Student Accommodation Manager, University of Kent

3.25pm - 3.35pmQuestions and discussion

3.35pm - 4.10pmConclusions on Affordability and How to Achieve It: Delegate discussion

4.15pm Ends



Coming Soon


As student rents get ever more expensive, as older properties get rebuilt or refurbished and return to life at a higher price, as rent as a percentage of the notional maintenance loan continues to increase all institutions and developers turn to the word “affordability” to flag some future direct of travel that redresses a perceived imbalance.

Developer’s conferences use “affordability” every other sentence, before they develop an increasing number of upmarket studios. Institutions see affordability as driving rents down, but down to what and where?

This one day seminar explore the practicalities of delivering affordability, what it can mean and why having lower cost accommodation is important to maintain both diversity and participation in higher education in a student population that (in the main) sees studying away from home as an important part of the higher education experience.


The day will look at both the concepts and actuality of affordability:

  • does it simply mean cheaper rents all round?
  • if there is to be a range of rents within a portfolio should that be offered within a single building or in different buildings throughout their portfolio?
  • is low cost accommodation simply building a ghetto for the poorer student?
  • who applies for cheaper rooms?
  • are those who need lower cost accommodation capable of acquiring it through existing allocation methods?
  • is the affordability criteria in the London Plan working - and if so should it be replicated elsewhere?
  • should institutions have a proper and transparent affordability policies and does that make any difference?

This day brings together a number of experts and those “at the coalface” to examine and discuss affordability from a variety of different perspectives. There are a number of case studies from institutions who have responded to the affordability agenda - not just paid it lip service.

This event is being held jointly with the University of London who are hosting the event and we are grateful for their involvement with this seminar.

This will be a stimulating and challenging day designed to assist those working within the student housing sector in refining their own understanding of affordability and how they might deliver affordable housing.

Cost per delegate

Normal Delegate Rate - £295

Friends of Unipol Rate - £250

Make a booking

Share This Event

Other Events

Fri 6 Dec 2019

Dealing with Late Buildings in Purpose Built Student Accommodation - How to Handle the Consumer End

After a summer where 30% of all buildings delivered have been late and reputational damage has been caused this one day conference will provide...

View Event Details
Fri 13 Dec 2019

Dealing Effectively with Student Accommodation Complaints - Culture, Compensation and Closure

This one day interactive course has been updated and revised using new case studies as the basis for establishing a culture both open to complaints...

View Event Details
Tue 17 Dec 2019

Mental Health First Aid for Adults - Two Day Course

Suitable for - Front line staff and managers in student accommodation.   As well as developing your mental health awareness, this...

View Event Details