Student Voice Report: Student Housing

Following a year of extensive research and engagement with students, we’re delighted to bring you our report on housing at Royal Holloway, featuring a list of recommendations to be implemented.

Following a year of extensive research and engagement with students, we’re delighted to bring you our report on housing at Royal Holloway!

When I ran to be President, I felt very passionately that student housing was not supporting students in the right way, whether that be in private local housing or University halls. Therefore in order to address this, I launched a piece of research looking at fully understanding the issues students are facing when it comes to their housing experience, and identifying areas for improvement for both the University and the Students’ Union in relation to housing provision and support.

Read the report

At the time, I was totally unaware that a global pandemic was just around the corner and about to upset the traditional nature of student housing for the following 18 months. Many students were unable to fully utilise their housing during this time in both University halls of residence and the private sector, and for some this has exacerbated previous issues negatively impacting their housing experience. We have seen rent rebates from the University, changes to the way students are looking for and using housing, and ultimately a shift in expectations. This aspect of the pandemic has been addressed in our report, alongside longer-standing issues relating to housing that you have told us about in our various surveys and consultations.

For the majority of students at Royal Holloway, housing is an integral part of the student experience, whether you live in University halls of residence or private accommodation in the wider area around the University. However, your housing experience is not always smooth sailing and can have a significant impact on your wellbeing and academic attainment. All students need a supportive living environment in order to succeed in their studies and fully engage with all aspects of the university experience at Royal Holloway.

Throughout this year, we have been working extremely hard to compare Royal Holloway's provision and support with the sector, to discuss what challenges you are all facing, and to collaboratively develop solutions to these challenges. This report is the amalgamation of all of this work, and it sets a roadmap for our future collaboration and lobbying agenda with the University.

Last week, we presented this report and its findings to senior stakeholders at the University. We are dedicated to ensuring that this report is continuously monitored so that we can hold the University to account in implementing the recommendations contained within this report, making sure that every effort possible is being made to enable you to receive the provision and support that is needed.

I would like to particularly thank all of the students who have engaged with the Students’ Union on this topic and helped shape the final recommendations. I hope this Student Voice Report succeeds in its aim to provide a positive agenda for developing housing provision and support moving forward.