Giving students their best year yet is our mission at iQ and something we strive to do, day in, day out. We know that university can be both an exciting and a daunting time. Living away from home for the first time, managing time, money and workloads and making friends from scratch in a new setting requires courage, skills and effort. How students approach these challenges has a huge impact on their university experience, the opportunities they take and the choices they make.
We know what an important role accommodation plays in the overall university experience, from being the place that students call home to providing the right kind of environment to make friends, study, cook and eat well, sleep well, and of course, have fun.
In 2019 we launched a campaign, Embrace the Unexpected, specifically focused on enhancing student wellbeing, through tailored research and a subsequent programme for our iQ residents. By involving our charity and expert partners (Nightline and Relate) and our residents throughout the process we are confident that our wellbeing programme is and will continue to make a genuine difference.
Relate is the UK's largest provider of relationship support, and in 2019 helped over two million people – including young people – to strengthen and build relationships. We commissioned and published a report with Relate to better understand the impact that loneliness can have on some students and how to help them feel more connected.
Nightline provides confidential, anonymous support services run by students for students. We have been working with the Nightline Association since the 2018 academic year to offer support for students who might need help and advice. Each iQ site is covered either by their local Nightline or a central service, which means that all of our students have access to this incredibly valuable listening service every night during term-time.
Through this programme, we aim to equip students for life in and beyond university by giving them the best tools and environment to develop and learn as young people. And we want to use our national reach, and the important part we play in students’ lives, to make a positive difference.