Build to Rent furnishing solutions firm Manor Interiors recently researched UK student accommodation standards during the Covid-19 pandemic. Some 1,032 UK students took part in the survey carried out by Manor Interiors through Find Out Now, a consumer research platform.
Various concerns and suggestions were raised in the study about student accommodation in the UK. The participants chose what was concerning about their specific university accommodation, with the results from the study being used to understand how the threat of catching the deadly virus can be minimised.
Chief executive officer of Manor Interiors, Farhan Malik, explains: “It’s encouraging to see that despite being least at risk health-wise, the younger generation is considering the threat posed by Covid when heading to university and the vital role they play in minimising its spread.
“Covid is unlikely to disappear any time soon and it’s important that we adapt across the board to deal with it. The design of student accommodation is no different and whether it’s the delivery of new units or the redesign of older buildings, there’s plenty that can be done to minimise the risks posed by Covid.”
Ways to make student accommodation Covid-friendly
Covid-19 restrictions have been eased by the UK government, but a level of cautious behaviour should remain as the fight against Covid-19 has not been won just yet.
Most of the students (78%) believed student accommodation could be improved to reduce the risk of catching Covid-19. The remaining 22% feel their student accommodation does not need to be better designed.
Below is a table of the results.
|Concern about university accommodation
|A lack of ventilation/unable to fully open windows
|A lack of open space
|Lack of sanitisation in communal areas
|Volume of students and staff coming and going
|Non-automatic doors (having to touch door handles)
|Having to use a lift
Too little ventilation indoors and a limited amount of open space were ranked joint top as two of the biggest worries. Meanwhile, many students at university were unable to fully open windows, causing many of the students to be concerned about the potential spread of the virus.
Malik continues: “Space is always tight where student accommodation is concerned and health and safety requirements prevent greater levels of ventilation through fully open windows in large blocks.
However, the interiors design of these blocks can go a long way in maximising space with bespoke furniture that’s made to measure a particular area. By doing so, universities can make an immediate, cost-effective change to existing accommodation to better their offering and reduce concern among students, who already have a lot to think about having started their higher education journey.”
Throughout the pandemic, the two-metre distancing rule was a driving force to reduce the transmission of the virus. The limited amount of open space within the student accommodation was one of the major fears students in the study expressed.
In the fight against Covid-19, keeping hands clean is a must. For this reason, too little sanitisation areas in communal spaces was the third-largest concern among students.
During university, there is always a lot going on. Whether it is going to lectures, social events, or activities, the halls or residence are usually busy, with staff and students coming and going from student rooms the fourth most popular concern.