Northumbria University has beaten off stiff competition to walk away with two awards for its student accommodation.
The University won the the Innovation and Environmental Impact and Student Tenant of the Year awards at the first ever North East Student Housing Awards.
Northumbria’s newest accommodation development, Trinity Square, was also runner up in the Student Hall of the Year and NU:Lets – operated by Northumbria Students’ Union – was shortlisted in the Letting Agency of the Year category.
The North East Student Housing Awards showcases the continuous delivery of student property, service and standards at the highest level. The event is a celebration of the very best in student housing and Property Management. The categories were judged by industry experts including president of the Association of Residential Landlords, Valerie Bannister, and student sabbatical officers from local universities.
Northumbria was awarded the Innovation and Environmental Impact award due to the University’s ‘incredible diversity in the use of renewable sources and innovative energy management across its entire student accommodation portfolio’. Northumbria has, for a long time, ensured that its energy sources are as efficient and green as possible, with the installation of photovoltaic panels onto Northumbria’s Northumberland Building dating back to January 1995. The panels, which convert solar energy into direct current electricity, were the first to ever be installed onto a building in the UK. The University continues to be committed to using renewable energy sources in the future.
The second award of the night was for first year Law student Katie White, who was named Student Tenant of the Year after being nominated by staff from Stephenson Building. Katie was nominated for her fundraising and charitable activities and for helping other students particularly international students settling into the UK and into our student accommodation.
She said: “Winning this award was completely unexpected – I didn’t even know I was nominated! I feel that I was just helping out the staff and being nice so I’m very grateful for the acknowledgement.
“My year living in the Stephenson Building has been amazing. I have met some of the best people and the staff are just brilliant. I know that if they weren’t so helpful and friendly, I would never have become involving in anything. It hasn’t felt like a job helping out at events throughout the year, because we had so much fun and the staff contributed to that massively. I couldn’t have imagined living anywhere else.”
Carol Kelly and Jeff Elliot, the staff members at Stephenson Building who nominated Katie for the award, were delighted. Carol said: “Katie is always happy, friendly, helpful, professional, and respectful when working for the University. She has always assisted with visit days and open days and takes pleasure in talking to prospective students and parents about Stephenson Building and the University. She is an outstanding ambassador for Northumbria in this way.”
Damon Kent, Director of Campus Services said: “It is fantastic for the University to be recognised in the 2015 North East Student Housing Awards. The last 12 months have seen major changes in the delivery of the Student Accommodation service at Northumbria University. This change has seen investment in room booking technology, digitisation of general information, the introduction of a show flat and the completion and opening of our 993 bedroom Trinity Square student village.
Under the direction of our new Head of Accommodation Alastair Reekie more resource was placed into the halls to further support our students and develop the halls offer. Engagement and support roles were introduced to deliver life skills, various in halls competitions and events as well as support with our Support and Wellbeing colleagues.”
Last September, Northumbria opened its newest student accommodation at Trinity Square in Gateshead. Trinity Square offers almost 1,000 beds with stunning views across the NewcastleGateshead skyline and rooftop leisure facilities. Based immediately above a cinema and supermarket, students benefit from a range of bars, restaurants, independent retailers and coffee shops below.
Northumbria was also named as having the lowest cost institution-owned or sponsored accommodation for students, by the 2014 Lloyd’s Bank University Quality of Student Life survey.
For more information on the accommodation facilities we offer, register for Northumbria’s Open Days on Friday 26 and Saturday 27 June at www.northumbria.ac.uk/openday
Northumbria is a research-rich, business-focussed, professional university with a global reputation for academic excellence. To find out more about our courses go towww.northumbria.ac.uk