As the largest manager and developer of purpose-built student accommodation, Unite Students is a pioneer, supporting the country’s world-leading higher education sector. We pride ourselves in providing a Home for Success to 50,000 students every year in circa 130 properties across 22 leading university towns and cities in the UK. With more developments in the pipeline, we are expanding our number of beds by over 6,000 over the next three years. Our 1,400 people are committed to providing not just accommodation, but a home for our population of diverse students.
Our great service, great people and great properties are all designed around our detailed research-based student insight, providing a tailored service for our students. To ensure our students can concentrate on their development, we locate ourselves close to university campuses, city centre amenities and transport links. Students pay one bill, covering all costs, from Wi-Fi and utilities to 24-hour security, and we have purpose built study areas so students can excel in their studies. Our staff are trained to deliver the best quality service to our students, and to actively listen and signpost students to information and support within their university and community.
We pride ourselves on our pioneering approach. We have innovated many features that are now accepted as the norm and most recently were the first private accommodation provider to move to an app-based property maintenance and communications system. Students can log 24-hour maintenance requests, noise complaints, plan and pay for laundry services and get to know their future flat mates before they move in to one of our homes. All our buildings are rigorously tested for health and fire safety, and we review our communal and external spaces to maximise a nurturing student environment.
Our commitment to customer service is powered by an innovative, in-house operating platform. It provides a wide range of benefits to our students, such as an optimised online booking process, as well as providing us with a unique ability to drive value from our portfolio through scale efficiencies and revenue managements.
Through our years of experience in the sector, we have developed strong partnerships with more than 60 of the best higher education institutions across the UK. This guarantees that around 60% of our rooms are let under multi-year, ‘nomination agreements’, giving us high visibility and rental growth certainty over half of our revenue. We also invest in and operate two specialist funds and joint ventures with institutional investment partners, the £2 billion Unite UK Student Accommodation Fund (USAF) and the £1 billion London Student Accommodation Vehicle (LSAV).
Our engagement in the sector, as well as our customer insight, has inspired our values and led to us founding and being a major donor to the Unite Foundation. Since 2012, this charity has provided free student accommodation and financial support to over 250 young people who lack family support.