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Keeping students safe with student accommodation cleaning

During the pandemic, React provides student accommodation cleaning and infection control for Covid safety at universities and colleges.

Students enjoying their shared accommodation kept clean by React Specialist Cleaning
With Covid spikes and student households self-isolating, cleaning is vital to contain the spread.

As in many other settings, universities and colleges have had to develop new ways of operating for the 2020/21 academic year. They’ve responded with measures such as moving teaching online and making lecture halls and seminar rooms Covid-safe. Given the sheer volume of new and returning students, there have also been fresh challenges to keeping student accommodation clean. Whether it’s purpose-built blocks or more traditional flat- and house-sharing options, educational institutions need to provide cleaning services. Here at React Specialist Cleaning, we can take on those challenges, and this blog takes a closer look at student accommodation cleaning.

UK student accommodation, from purpose-built flats to private houseshares

It’s worth taking a step back and considering the range of different accommodation that’s available to students. Purpose-built student accommodation (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. Across the UK, around 30% of full-time first-year students lived in private PBSA in 2018-19, up from 22% in 2013-14.

Even before the pandemic, students always considered cleanliness carefully in judging their accommodation. A student accommodation survey for the academic year 2018-19 was published by Knight Frank in conjunction with UCAS. It surveyed 70,000 applicants, new students and current students at universities across the UK. Understandably, value for money and overall cost came in as the top factors prompting decisions about where to live. But for first-year students, the cleanliness of the bedroom was the third most important influence in their decision-making. For accommodation providers, and by extension universities and colleagues, it’s vital to get cleaning right. The full study can be found here >

Infection control in every context of student accommodation cleaning

In the current context, when there are large numbers of students who have tested positive for Covid, student accommodation cleaning is vital. React's infection control cleaning service can help to reduce risks and increase student and faculty confidence. Of course, Covid-19 has dominated the news worldwide this year, and this has affected many student accommodation blocks. But other pathogens such as MRSA, Swine Flu, C. difficile and Norovirus are all still present in society. And they thrive in the types of facilities that exist in student accommodation, such as kitchen areas and shared social spaces.

We deploy rigorous protocols that clean and then thoroughly decontaminate areas to reduce infection rates and the spread of contaminates. Our tried and tested process consists of four steps. We first test to understand how active the surfaces are for growing organisms or pathogens. We then clean to remove material that harbours pathogens, such as dust, grease and oils. We then disinfect with an effective viricidal disinfectant and/or strong controlled UVC. Finally, we test again to be certain no trace of biomaterial remains. This process is critical in high-touch areas, such as door handles, lift buttons, washroom facilities and shared tech.

High standards of cleanliness for student accommodation cleaning

More broadly, we cover every element of 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. 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. With React Specialist Cleaning and its student accommodation cleaning, levels of cleanliness and Covid safety will be covered.

To find out more about student accommodation cleaning, as part of React Specialist Cleaning’s one-stop-shop for university cleaning, 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.


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