Monday 19 November 2018

58 Victoria Embankment London, EC4Y 0DS

What Happened over Summer 2018 - Managing the Allocations and Letting Process in Demanding and Turbulent Times

This one day seminar brings together a cross-section of experiences and what can be learnt from the 2018-2019 intake to improve 2019-2020.

Suitable for all those dealing with policy, management, allocations and student advice in student accommodation.





9.30am - 9.45am Registration and coffee

9.45am - 10.30am Introduction of Delegates and Round Table Sharing of Delegates Own Experiences

10.30am - 11.10am A Summary of Main Trends over the Summer of 2018: What UCAS tells us, winners and losers in the intake stakes, EU and international intakes, Late Buildings and some reflections on experiences in Leeds, Nottingham and Bradford. Martin Blakey, Chief Executive, Unipol Student Homes

11.10am - 11.20am Questions and Discussion

11.20am - 11.35am Break (tea and coffee available)

11.35am - 12.10pm The Sheffield Experience and Some General Reflections: Rising supply with stable intake. Karen Burke, Accommodation Services Manager, Sheffield Hallam University and Chair of ASRA

12.10pm - 12.20pm Questions and discussion

12.20pm - 12.50pm What Happened in London? Home and International recruitment and the effect of high cost housing. Roland Shanks, Strategic Projects Manager (Estates) at University of London

12.50pm - 1.00pm Questions and discussion

1.00pm - 1.50pm Lunch (provided)

1.50pm -2.20pm The Liverpool Experience: Working with the Private Sector to Meet the Expectations of an Increasingly Diverse Student Body. Ed Naylor, Student Accommodation Manager, Liverpool John Moores University

2.20pm - 2.30pm Questions and discussion
2.30pm - 2.45pm Break (tea and coffee available)

2.45pm - 3.30pm A View Across the Country: What is Letting Where and How Popular are Studios? Stewart Moore, Chief Executive - CRM Students

3.30pm - 3.55pm Questions and General Discussion

3.55pm - 4.00pm Concluding remarks and end.


Providing accommodation for students is undergoing significant change: unconditional places are bringing demand forward whilst record numbers of students now find a place through clearing. Demand is clustering both early and late in the allocation and letting cycle.

Levels and types of demand are also changing with increasing numbers of international (and EU) students but with a fall (3% down) in home undergraduates as the demographic decline of 18 year old continues.

Overall, national student residential demand is stable, but supply continues to grow with over 15,000 new bed spaces in 59 new buildings coming into the market for the first time over summer 2018.

All of this against a backdrop of increased consumer expectation and the need to manage the transition of more vulnerable students from home to a University environment.

This one day seminar brings together a cross-section of experts from different types of institutions and organisations to share their experiences and reflections on how 2018 went, what is changing and how can future services be transitioned into meeting next year’s needs better. The seminar will look at specific experiences in London, Leeds, Sheffield, Liverpool, Nottingham and Bradford as well and aims to identify national trends of student need and demand.

Some issues are already clear:

  • the unpredictability of clearing and international intakes underline the importance of last-minute flexibility
  • accommodation guarantees continue to come under pressure and may need revision
  • different areas are suffering from both an over and under-supply of student accommodation
  • late buildings are still a problem
  • void management is essential.

The seminar will also explore several questions:

  • how are the increasing demands of both parents and students being met?
  • to what extent is affordability becoming an issue?
  • do all those high priced studios actually let?

But most of all, what can be done to prepare for next year?

Martin Blakey, Chief Executive, Unipol Student Homes
Martin Blakey has worked in the student accommodation area for over 25 years with a wide experience of all kinds of student housing, from off-street to purpose built properties. Has worked closely with HEIs, Local Authorities, Governments and major supplier to raise housing standard and widen student choice and expectations. As Chief Executive of Unipol, (a charity focusing on student housing) Martin helped develop a portfolio housing 3,000 students in Leeds, provides services to around 15 HEIs, accredits just over 315,000 bed spaces and operates the main training programme for those involved in student accommodation. The mission continues.
Karen Burke, Chair - ASRA and Head of Accommodation Service, Sheffield Hallam University
Karen commenced work at Sheffield Polytechnic in November 1990 and to her surprise finds she is still there. She rose through the ranks from a supervisor in the House Services Division to an Assistant Manager of a catered hall of residence and then to roles within Accommodation Services and the role she now has is Accommodation Services Manager in 2004.During this time she has experienced many changes within the sector.
Ed Naylor, Student Accommodation Manager, Liverpool John Moores University
Ed has been Student Accommodation Manager at Liverpool John Moores University (LJMU) since 2004.  His role is to manage partnerships with large private providers which deliver accommodation to all new LJMU students. He is also co-chair of Liverpool Student Homes, the city-wide private rented sector agency supported and funded by the 3 Liverpool universities.

Roland Shanks (Strategic Projects Manager (Estates), University of London

Stewart Moore, Chief Executive, CRM Students

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