The Your Hall, Your Call campaign was brought forward by students through our Student Council, and was also a manifesto pledge of Luke Ellis, our Vice President Welfare. The campaign aimed to find out about student experiences with accommodation provided by the University, and use the findings to make some recommendations for improvements.
The research found that:
- Most students are overall dissatisfied with the current setup of accommodation at all three campuses. Greenwich was ranked 3/10, Avery Hill was ranked 4/10, and Medway was also ranked 3/10.
- One of the most significant indicators was around value for money, in which students indicated 33% positively, 30% neutrally, and 37% negatively.
- Social Spaces in halls were ranked on average 51% positively, 30%, neutrally and 18% negatively.
- Students in Halls of Residence do not feel effectively represented at all three campuses, particularly at Medway.
- One of the biggest issues was the transparency of fees, and where the fees are being distributed to. Furthermore, students want to know how the price of halls is determined, and whether this is standardised by the quality of the halls.
All of the findings have been compiled into one report which you can click here to download and read.
After analysing the data, we have created a list of recommendations that were submitted to the Student Experience Committee at the University for consideration. They have also been taken up by Student Academic Services that look after accommodation at the University, and they responded with the following recommendations/information:
- Student Experience Committee, on which the SUUG has representation, could be a forum to discuss in further detail the recommendations of this report and provide a forum for the discussion of student surveys conducted by the SUUG in the future.
- Some work in the areas raised has already begun, for example the recent communications regarding staying safe on and off campus and the new incident management system has also enabled us to better record issues around safety including safeguarding and wellbeing.
- Resident Assistants (RA) training this year included significant sessions on mental health awareness and suicide prevention; this also looked at raising awareness on how to signpost students effectively to University Services and the use of emergency services. As well as reviewing its specialist on site provision the University subscribes to London Nightline and is exploring the use of online moderated peer support services. The Health and Wellbeing Working Group is also a way that we can look at this area together with colleagues from across the University.
- We also welcomed the development this year where the RA’s met with the SUUG and the discussions and developments we have had regarding the Residents Life project.
- We would also welcome exploring with the SUUG having termly ‘Your Hall, Your Call’ meetings with students in halls and the SUUG, so that we can explore some of these issues in greater detail, provide information on developments and include the Safer Neighbourhoods team.
In turn, we are committing to the following to improve the halls experience:
- Reviewing representation in Halls of Residence to identify how student's voice is gathered and fed back to the University.
- Reviewing the service offered at Avery Hill, and gather student feedback to provide an improved service and identify opportunities to lobby the University.
- Provide a fair and equal representation of Halls of Residence at each campus through termly forums.
- Identify and conduct further research into the experience of Medway students in Accommodation in collaboration with Kent Union.
We hope that these and other actions improve the halls experience for you at the University.
If you have any questions or further feedback on the report or on Halls of Residence, please email Luke on email@example.com.