Residential Accommodation FAQ’s (non term time)

How many bedrooms does the University own and manage on campus?

The University currently owns and manages approximately 2500 bedrooms on campus.

Who manages the booking of the residential accommodation?

During non-term time – end of June until ‘Welcome Sunday’ (approximately 12 weeks over summer), the residential accommodation is managed by Facilities Management (FM).
During term time (see below), the residential accommodation is managed by Student Services (Accommodation Team).

How long is the typical term-time residential accommodation contract for our students?

The typical residential contract for students (licence agreement) is 40 weeks, beginning on Welcome Sunday (the 3rd Sunday in September) and ending in June.

Are all of the residential bedrooms available for internal or external use during the 12 weeks after the students have vacated (non-term time)?

In short the answer is NO. The University is required to complete essential planned maintenance during the summer months to ensure that the residential accommodation is safe and prepared to a high quality standard in preparation for the new occupants in September each year. Therefore typically a maximum of only half of the residential accommodation is available during the 12 weeks after our students have vacated.

What type of essential maintenance work is carried out in the residential accommodation during non-term time?

In addition to the general repair and essential redecoration required to ensure that each room and common area is returned to the high standard for our returning students, the University is required and committed to carrying out planned statutory maintenance activities (compliance) such as inspecting and testing gas, electrical, water and fire safety systems. This work MUST be carried out to comply with the law. The majority of this essential maintenance work cannot be carried out effectively whilst the rooms are occupied. There is also work carried out to enhance and upgrade certain aspects of the residential accommodation (more detail below).

Who is typically accommodated in the remaining available residential accommodation during non-term time?

Apart from the planned maintenance activities, the remaining accommodation (generally less than 1200 bedrooms over the 12 week period) is typically booked for use by Student Recruitment, International Students, Summer Schools, Graduate Teaching Assistants and Alumni. There are also an increasing number of students who choose to remain in their accommodation beyond the 40 week contract period. Once these priority groups and core business activities have been accommodated, there is very limited availability for conferences and events.

Do you have any advice on how to ensure that a conference or event that requires residential accommodation is approved?

The best advice is to make contact with the Conference & Event Team (see below) as early as possible in the planning process, and gain Director/Dean approval. The FM Team begin planning and scheduling summer maintenance activities and other bookings in residential accommodation as early as October in the previous year. The sooner you are able to plan your event the greater the chance of the residential accommodation being available and approved.

How do I make contact with the Conference & Event Team in order to provisionally book residential accommodation for use during non-term time?

Your initial enquiry should be directed to: [email protected] or call 01695 584782

Is there a criteria for the priority allocation of residential accommodation during non-term time?

Yes. Whilst the essential preparation for our students in September is a primary consideration, the mandatory planned maintenance (compliance) activities and operations MUST be competed in order to comply with the law. The next priority is any activity relating to the core business i.e. the attraction, recruitment and retention of students. Conferences and events are accommodated on a first come first served basis, however those events and activities with a direct and demonstrable positive impact on the recruitment of students or the reputation of the University will always take priority.

What other factors affect the availability of residential accommodation during non-term time?

The University remains committed to providing the highest quality residential accommodation. Some of the existing older accommodation is not to the exceptionally high standard of the newer facilities, and as such there is an ongoing plan for the refurbishment and upgrading of some of the older accommodation. These works are likely to further reduce the available accommodation during non-term time.
Another important factor to consider is the availability and allocation of other essential resources during non-tern time e.g. housekeeping, catering etc. Many of the established staffing resources within FM are not employed for 52 weeks of the year. In order to support the maximised use of residential accommodation during non-term time, the University may incur an additional significant cost. These costs must be taken into consideration when planning conferences and events or any other activity that isn’t directly related to the core business.

Are there any myths or misunderstandings you frequently encounter in relation to the availability and use of residential accommodation during non-term time?

The most common myth/misunderstanding is that ALL of the residential accommodation is available during non-term time i.e. 2500 bedrooms! The reality is that are probably less than 100-200 bedrooms available for general booking per week during the summer period at any one time.
Another misunderstanding is that FM can accurately prioritise the allocation of residential accommodation for conference & events in isolation based on their own assessment of the potential impact on the attraction, recruitment and retention of students. Planning and allocation decisions can only be based on the information provided to FM by the originating department or contact, therefore it is important that all potential bookings have approval in principle at Director/Dean level.


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