Cleanliness is an important influence for students in deciding where to live, and our student accommodation cleaning services deliver
Living away from home is an important part of being a student for most university and college students in the UK. The choice of accommodation is therefore crucial in shaping their experience and enhancing their wellbeing. The expansion of the further education sector in the UK has meant that traditional flat- or house-shares are a declining proportion of student housing. The move has been towards purpose built student accommodation (PBSA), much of it operated by private providers. So providing good student accommodation is vital for providers, especially in purpose-built blocks. And a key element in keeping tenants happy is to keep accommodation clean. In this blog, we look at the context of student accommodation in the UK, and how REACT delivers on cleanliness and hygiene.
What does UK student accommodation look like?
Student accommodation in the twenty-first century is vastly different from the traditional flat- or house-shares that students used to put up with. PBSA is built by private developers for students to live in. It usually consists of cluster flats (multiple rooms with shared kitchen and living areas), or private studios. Many have attached leisure facilities and communal areas. In 2018-19, universities owned 69% of current PBSAs, although the private sector is expanding rapidly to meet demand for new rooms. In that year, full-time student numbers outweighed PBSA bed spaces by 3:1. Across the UK, around 30% of full-time first-year students lived in private PBSA in 2018-19, up from 22% in 2013-14.
What influences UK students in deciding where to live?
Over the past few years, Knight Frank (in conjunction with UCAS) have published a series of surveys on student accommodation. Each survey covers some 70,000 new and current students at universities across the UK. The latest survey for the academic year 2020-21 obviously took place against the backdrop of the Covid pandemic. This added pressures for students and accommodation providers alike – from students coping with classes moving online, to providers needing to implement Covid cleaning protocols. Favourably, 69% of respondents said they were satisfied with their providers’ response to the pandemic.
But beyond Covid, successive surveys have showed the importance of cleanliness for students in judging their accommodation. Understandably, value for money came in as the top factor prompting decisions about where to live. But for first-year students, the cleanliness of the bedroom was the second most important influence in their decision-making. This dropped slightly to third place for second-year students, who were also focused on the overall cost of the accommodation.
The full study can be found here: >> https://content.knightfrank.com/research/1663/documents/en/knight-frank-ucas-student-accommodation-survey-report-2021-7707.pdf
How can providers deliver the best in student accommodation cleaning?
These surveys show that for accommodation providers, it’s vital to get cleaning right. We cover specialist cleaning for university-owned student accommodation as part of our offer for educational institutions. We can also work with private PBSA providers to ensure the highest levels of cleanliness. Our contract cleaning division can cover regular cleaning work, from bedrooms through to communal areas in cluster flats, and private studios. We can undertake end-of-tenancy cleans to get student accommodation ready for the next year’s intake. We can undertake infection control cleaning if there’s an outbreak of Covid or other diseases. And we’re available for emergency cleaning in a crisis too, when handling a situation with sensitivity is the main concern.
Our fully vetted and accredited staff are available to undertake both regular scheduled cleaning and urgent 24/7/365 ad hoc services for any immediate cleaning requirements that may arise. Our focus is always on ensuring the safety of students and teaching staff, with minimal disruption to their day-to-day activities. Here at REACT Specialist Cleaning, we can’t ensure that there won’t be a nightmare flatmate in a student block. But our student accommodation cleaning services means that at least cleanliness and hygiene will be assured.
To find out more about REACT Specialist Cleaning and our student accommodation cleaning services, contact one of the team today.
Post by Shaun D. Doak
Shaun is the CEO of REACT Group plc., a business dedicated to specialist cleaning, hygiene, and decontamination. He is deeply committed to making sure that every one of our company’s clients receives the highest possible level of service. An expert in HVAC and commercial and industrial cleaning methodologies, Shaun has extensive experience in the facilities management and renewable services sector.