Design and health: Social spaces designed to combat student loneliness

posted on Tuesday, 19th September 2017 by Geny Caloisi

Students accomodation  communal living 

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The new academic year is underway, and tens of thousands of freshers and returning students are settling into their new academic life. Being away from the family can be exciting, but it can also daunting. Almost 5 in 10 students report that isolation makes university a difficult experience (Student Experience survey).

Another study has highlighted that for students, loneliness is something that can affect their health. According to report by the IPPR think-tank, as many as 15,395 first year students in a decade reported mental health condition due to academic pressures.

"The increase in mental health conditions is alarming and it raises the importance of student residences being equipped to meet the wellbeing needs of young people. The facilities available within student accommodation can make a huge difference, enabling students to feel safe, secure and part if a community."

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Heriberto Cuanalo, CEO, Collegiate says, "Indeed, with pressures on finances never greater, students are increasingly relying on facilities within the university environment with free chill-out areas being the most important area for 54 per cent, campus bar and nightclub a priority for 46% and a gym facility for 32% according to the Student Experience survey."

Resident's wellbeing is a priority for student accommodation provider Collegiate and developer Fusion Students, who deliver social spaces for students across all of their UK sites, creating communities and combatting loneliness.

"Inspired social spaces are an integral part of the Collegiate product and service, providing residents with an opportunity to relax, unwind and socialise with other residents. At Collegiate AC, we provide what other, less discerning, providers don't."

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Cuanalo adds, "Take for instance Plummer House by Fusion Students in Newcastle which provides a range of unrivalled common areas from a games room as well as a chic in-house BYO bar to a VIP lounge. Residents will see their social life enhanced at Eclipse also by Fusion Students, located in Cardiff, as it offers an 'Alice in Wonderland' themed nightclub to entertain friends."

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Students at Collegiate's brand new site in Sheffield - Collegiate Crown House - also boasts a long list of amazing shared spaces such as an on-site gym (with on demand exercise classes available), outdoor and indoor cinema room, outdoor recreational space (with a courtyard space for BBQ) and private dinner party room. Lucky new residents at Collegiate Ernest Place in Durham, set to open its doors this Saturday 16th September, can enjoy a stunning Sky lounge and an on-site sauna.

With students spending most of their time where they live, accommodation design matters more than ever when it comes to students' mental health.

Geny Caloisi

Geny Caloisi is an accomplished technology journalist who has worked in a variety of AV industry publications.

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