CUBO RELEASES GUIDANCE FOR STUDENT ACCOMMODATION PROVIDERS AHEAD OF NEW TERM START
28 August 2020
CUBO has released new guidance for student accommodation providers ahead of the new academic term: https://www.cubo.ac.uk/page/Student_Accommodation
The advice is based on current published government information and is "live". It does not replace government guidance, but is a best interpretation by sector practitioners of how the official guidance available at this point could apply to student accommodation.
It is intended to provide a checklist for accommodation providers to help them consider all aspects of their operations to maintain an environment that minimises the risk of the transmission of Covid-19.
Central to the advice is providing a good student experience, meeting student needs, and keeping students and staff safe. In doing so, consideration is needed between restrictions on activities and behaviours, and the overall well-being and mental health of all involved.
It is important that students arriving in accommodation are not only safe from contracting Covid-19, but feel safe and are confident that their institution has taken all necessary precautions to manage their safety. Where an institution has nominations, agreements or other direct relationships with private accommodation providers, equal efforts should be considered. Where no contractual relationship exists, institutions should share advice and guidance, and consider direct support to landlords and students to ensure student safety and wellbeing.
The full range of students need to be considered, but in particular institutions should ensure that practical steps are taken to enable equality for those particularly at risk.
In addition to issuing its own advice, CUBO has contributed to two UUK-led groups advising the UK government and participated in the ScotGov Student Accommodation Group and FE/HE Mitigation and Outbreak Advisory Group.
The association has also undertaken snapshot surveys to gauge university accommodation occupancy during and after lockdown, as well as a joint survey with ASRA of Scottish universities and private PBSA to provide information on the initial Covid-19 impact and response.
Since May 2020 CUBO has run over 20 virtual round tables and webinars for members and partners on managing campus services under Covid-19 and set up an online resource library including sector reports and updates, government guidance links, round table summaries and best practice documents.