further & higher education

Student Housing Forum 2020

further & higher education

08:45 - 16:00

Tuesday 14 January 2020

Royal College of Physicians, Central London

This Student Housing Forum provides attendees with the invaluable opportunity to hear from leading organisations and best practice case studies from across the Higher Education sector on how to improve the quality of student housing and accommodation services. Attendees will hear from leading stakeholders, including The Association for Student Residential Accommodation, The Universities Safety and Health Association, The National Union of Students and Student Minds. Furthermore, best practice case studies will discuss how the provision of accommodation affects the student experience, and how best to improve the supply, affordability, and quality of housing as a means of remaining at the forefront of students considerations in an increasingly competitive market.


This Forum is specifically designed for the Higher Education sector. Typical job titles will include:

  • Directors of Estates
  • Heads of Accommodation Services
  • Student Housing Managers
  • Business Development Managers
  • Directors of Student Services
  • Heads of Student Experience
  • Heads of Estate Development
  • Directors of Facilities Management
  • Heads of Quality Standards
  • Student Experience Managers
  • Heads of Student Support
  • Property Advisers
  • Heads of Campus Services

This Forum is also open to the Private Sector to encourage networking and debate.

Key Speakers Confirmed:
  • Karen Burke, Chair, Association for Student Residential Accommodation (ASRA)
  • Rosie Tressler OBE, Chief Executive Officer, Student Minds
  • Cathy Day, Vice-Chair and Boardmember, The Universities Safety and Health Association (USHA)
  • Eva Crossan-Jory, Vice President for Welfare, National Union of Students (NUS)
  • Candace Davies, Head of Accommodation, Lancaster University
  • Steve Igoe, Deputy Vice-Chancellor, Edge Hill University
View the agenda and additional speakers

The cost of renting student accommodation in the UK has increased by nearly a third in six years, according to the Accommodation Costs Survey, 2018. This accounts for 73% of the maximum student loan. Despite it’s growing costs, standards of quality remain low, with one in five students renting private accommodation reporting that they live in squalor and reported mice, slugs and other vermin.

This is compounded by the fact that 67% of females and 48% of males are struggling to cope with stress, as outlined in the Annual Student Experience Survey 2017 commissioned by UPP.

The notion of the ‘student experience’ is becoming increasingly important as a marker of success in university metrics, with HEPI’s 2017 Student Academic Experience Survey linking a feeling of not getting ‘value for money’ and low wellbeing as part of the student experience. It is clear that accommodation quality and services play a pivotal role in the experiences of students, from influencing financial pressures to creating a supportive community.

Furthermore, with a growing number of universities now commissioning private companies to provide student accommodation, a set of new regulations were established in March 2019, which would give students the right to take their landlords to court if they failed to address serious defects, such as mould and safety hazards. The Universities Minister, Clive Skidmore, also called on universities to consider social value when contracting out such services.

In order for UK universities to remain internationally competitive, improving the student experience must be at the heart of their operation. Addressing the issues surrounding affordability, supply, and quality of housing and its related services through responding to students’ concerns and thinking innovatively to maximise the use of the higher education estate is of paramount importance.

Paloma Lisboa, Director of Operations for Estates & Facilities, King’s College London

Paloma Lisboa is the Director of Operations for Estates & Facilities at King’s College London. She is MBA-qualified and holds an MA in Entrepreneurship and a BA in Hospitality Management.

Having worked with young adults for over 19 years in the hospitality and accommodation sectors, in both private and public organisations and across international boundaries, she now leads a corporate services team encompassing Sustainability, Safety, Customer & Staff Experience and Operational Governance. Her team is responsible for enabling the Estates & Facilities team to achieve its strategic aims. More recently, she led one of the largest insourcing initiatives in the sector bringing 400 cleanings and security staff in house, from two contractors within 9 months.

Paloma is passionate about sustainable living and its link to overall wellbeing. Her focus remains in developing non-academic learning opportunities for university students by maximising the opportunities within campuses and local communities.

Steve Igoe, Deputy Vice-Chancellor, Edge Hill University

Steve Igoe is the Deputy Vice-Chancellor of Edge Hill University. Steve first joined the University in 1996. Within his role, he has operational responsibility for Capital Projects and Estate Development, Financial Services, Human Resources, IT services, Learning Services, Strategic Policy and Planning and Facilities Management.

Steve is a Chartered Accountant by background. He was a member of the HEFCE Risk Management Advisory Group, responsible for drafting risk management guidance for the Higher Education sector. He has assessed funding bids for the HEFCE Good Management Practice Initiative and was a member of the HEFCE Board Sub–Committee advising on Leadership, Governance and Management matters for the sector.

Steve served two terms (6 years) as a member of the Higher Education Regulatory Review Group (HERRG) advising the Department for Education and Skills (DfES) on the regulation of the Higher Education Sector.

He was a Non–Executive Director and Senior Independent Director at Alder Hey Children’s NHS Foundation Trust, and chaired their Audit Committee and Integrated Governance and Risk Committee from 2010 to 2018 and was  appointed as a Non–Executive Director to the Board of Wirral NHS Foundation Trust where from 1 October 2018 he  chairs their Audit Committee and  is the Senior Independent Director.

Candace Davies, Head of Accommodation, Lancaster University

Candace is Head of Accommodation at Lancaster University having been at the University since 2000 and in her current role since 2007.  With an early background in social housing Candace holds an MSc in Housing and is a member of the Chartered Institute of Housing.

She is responsible for leading a team of 23 staff providing accommodation services to 6700 on campus students.

In addition Candace is responsible for the Lancaster University Homes Accreditation Scheme; an off campus accreditation scheme launched in 2015 achieving year on year growth and improving accommodation standards in the city centre for Lancaster students.


Registration, Refreshments and Networking


Chair's Welcome Address

Paloma Lisboa, Head of Campus Operations, King’s College London (CONFIRMED)


Morning Keynote: Promoting Collaboration as a Means of Providing High-Quality and Accessible Accommodation

  • Creating a collaborative network of professionals working within student accommodation across the education, public, and private sectors
  • Sharing insights on best-practice approaches which overcome key problem areas in this field, such as availability and affordability
  • Exploring ways to facilitate professional and sector development for management in the student accommodation sector, such as training on raising awareness of potential extenuating circumstances for students
  • Detailing the current and projected landscape of student accommodation plans, based upon the reports from the housing-related organisations and statutory boards that ASRA sit on

Karen Burke, Chair, Association for Student Residential Accommodation (ASRA) (CONFIRMED)


Questions and Answers Session


Refreshments and Networking


Case Study: Delivering Award-Winning Accommodation Services, Facilities and Design

  • Maximising a partnership with UPP to invest £180 million in the redevelopment of over 4,000 rooms on campus based upon the eco-residence model, which has become a core approach to improve the sustainable student living and experience elsewhere
  • Analysing how the accommodation design and comprehensive support provided by the College Managers improve the student experience
  • Establishing the importance of responding to students’ feedback on elements to be improved in student halls, evidenced by the recent successes in Pendle College and Grizedale
  • Supporting students who live off-campus to find high-quality, affordable homes with reputable landlords through Lancaster University Homes

Winner – Best University Halls, National Student Housing Awards 2019

Finalist– Best Customer Service, National Student Housing Awards 2019

Candace Davies, Head of Accommodation, Lancaster University (CONFIRMED)


Special Keynote: Supporting Student Wellbeing In Purpose-Built Student Accommodation

Rosie Tressler OBE, Chief Executive Officer, Student Minds (CONFIRMED)


Questions and Answers Session


Lunch and Networking


Afternoon Keynote: Ensuring Robust Health and Safety Standards Across University-Owned Accommodation

  • Outlining the work undertaken by The Universities Safety and Health Association, including proving guidance on leadership and management within health and safety and university-owned accommodation
  • Highlighting key health and safety areas which must be covered by a universities accommodation strategy, including fire safety, drug use and mental health
  • Sharing guidance on how universities can effectively promote health and safety measures within their student accommodation teams and across university-owned housing/halls

Cathy Day, Vice-Chair and Boardmember, The Universities Safety and Health Association (USHA) (CONFIRMED)


Special Keynote: Providing a Students’ Perspective on Experience of Accommodation at University

  • Outlining how the student experience, welfare, and student accommodation are inextricably linked and now form a core part of the university experience
  • Providing context to the recommendations made in the Homes Fit for Study report
  • Evaluating the lessons learnt from the implementation of these recommendations, and considering how these may change with the evolving higher education market
  • Looking to the future: The next steps in creating effective policies which improve students’ experiences of accommodation whilst at university

Eva Crossan-Jory, Vice President for Welfare, National Union of Students (NUS) (CONFIRMED)


Questions and Answers Session


Questions and Answers Session


Refreshments and Networking


Case Study: Embedding Effective Student Wellbeing Support into University Accommodation Services

  • Outlining how Student living at the University of Derby created a strong wellbeing agenda across the accommodation team, where all staff fully understand their duty of care responsibilities and strive to have a positive impact on the student experience
  • Sharing lessons on how accommodation teams can ensure help and support is available across all their properties, including halls and private residencies
  • Examining how the University of Derby embed the input of students in designing and implementing accommodation services to ensure their views and wellbeing needs are being met

Winner, Best Student Wellbeing, Best Customer Service and Best Environmental Management

Ollie Shearer, Director of Sport and Derby Student Residences Ltd (DSRL), University of Derby (CONFIRMED)


Case Study: Ensuring Affordability is Central to the University-Owned Accommodation Offer

  • Outlining how Edge Hill created a range of rooms and catering packages which were flexible depending on students requirements and budget, resulting in them winning the 2019 Best Value for Money Student Accommodation Award
  • Evaluating the range of options on offer, such as catered and en-suite, to match differing budget requirements
  • Sharing guidance on how Edge Hill effectively maintains the balance between quality and affordability when modernising residence halls
  • Examining how Edge Hill prioritised students’ wellbeing through ensuring they feel safe and facilitating socialisation

Winner – Best Value for Money Student Accommodation in the UK, National Student Housing Awards 2019

Steve Igoe, Deputy Vice-Chancellor, Edge Hill University (CONFIRMED)


Questions and Answers Session


Chairs Closing Address

*programme subject to change

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