If you’re thinking about going to university in 2021, are you wondering what it will be like to live away from home – particularly if the global pandemic continues?
Although we don’t know how Covid-19 will affect the university experience next year, in this blog we’ve tried to give you an insight into what it could be like to live with us, and the measures we’ve already taken to keep our students safe.
Read on to find out more about university accommodation – where you could be living if you join us, what your room could be like, what facilities you’ll have and how you’ll be supported to stay safe, have a great time and settle in with us.
What accommodation is available?
If you join us at Newcastle, you’ll be able to choose from:
- University-owned accommodation – owned and managed by Newcastle University and staffed by our dedicated teams
- managed partnership accommodation – owned by a private company, but run in partnership with the University
The style of our accommodation ranges from traditional halls to modern city-centre apartments, and each residence has its own distinct character. As part of our University-owned accommodation we have three student villages at Park View, Kensington Park and Castle Leazes – there’s more about these friendly communities later in this blog.
All our accommodation is either in prime locations on campus, a short walk away, or in the vibrant suburbs of Newcastle, easily reached by public transport and surrounded by handy shops and places to eat.
You’ll be able to choose between catered halls offering a weekly menu of breakfasts and evening meals, and self-catered accommodation with kitchen facilities.
Private accommodation – owned and managed by private landlords – is available in the city, but doesn’t feature in this blog.
What are the different room types?
Our residences predominantly offer shared accommodation, which means you’ll have your own bedroom, but share a communal kitchen and living areas with other students.
All bedrooms include a bed, desk, chair and wardrobe. Our washbasin rooms have their own private washbasin, sharing toilet and shower facilities with flatmates, while our bedrooms with en suite facilities feature a private pod bathroom with shower, washbasin and toilet.
Alternatively, we have a limited number of studio rooms, with a sleeping area and en suite facilities, plus a lounge/kitchen area for your sole use.
Our residences are accessible to all, and we also have accommodation which has been specially adapted to include wheelchair access, adjustable beds and desks, Braille kitchen equipment and other facilities to support students with particular needs or disabilities.
What are facilities like?
Both our University-owned and managed partnership residences feature some great facilities.
Stylish and social open-plan lounge/kitchen/dining areas in shared flats are ideal for getting to know flatmates. Kitchens are well-equipped and on-site laundrettes mean there’s no reason to take any washing home!
Communal gaming areas and TV rooms are perfect for chilling out and having fun, while some residences even have their own on-site gyms.
If you want to study at your halls, some residences have on-site computer clusters or quiet study zones, plus there’s bike storage and free car parking at some sites, making it easy to head in to campus on two wheels or four.
Our residences are safe, too, with entry-phone systems and CCTV. Staff are on call 24 hours a day and most residences provide on-site support during office hours.
Our free SafeZone app also means students can get in touch with University Security at any time of the day or night.
How much does university accommodation cost?
How much you’ll pay depends on the type of accommodation you choose, its communal facilities and your room’s facilities.
At Newcastle, our accommodation is affordable, with residences to suit every type of student budget.
Our fees in University-owned accommodation include heating, electricity and water rates, as well as WiFi – making it easier for you to budget. Managed partnership fees do differ, but you can find out how much it costs to stay with us in the descriptions of each of our residences.
How do you apply for accommodation?
You’ll be invited to apply for your accommodation once you’ve received an offer from us – whether this is a conditional or unconditional offer.
You’ll need your UCAS number to register with us via our application portal. And, after logging on to the application home page, you’ll be able to create your application and list your three favourite residences.
There’s plenty of time to choose your accommodation, but do watch out for key application dates for new students. And we don’t process applications on a first-come, first-served basis – check out how we allocate rooms here.
When we’re ready to process your application, we’ll email you – usually later in the summer after Results Day – with details of your allocated accommodation and how to accept the offer.
To find out more about the application process and for some top tips on choosing university accommodation, read our blog.
How have residences been made Covid-secure?
We’ve been working hard to make all our University-owned residences Covid-safe.
All our residences have been reviewed to make sure they support social distancing, self-isolation and quarantine regulations. Enhanced cleaning measures have been introduced, particularly in busy touch point areas like entrances, staircases, lifts, laundries, reception, public toilets and refuse areas. Hand sanitiser points have also been installed at the entrance to every building.
Before our new students joined us this term, they received lots of information about social distancing and advice on how we expect them to follow safety measures. If restrictions are still in place when you join us, you can expect to receive the same level of support and guidance.
We also introduced pre-bookable arrival slots to help students arrive on campus and maintain social distancing, as well as new systems for safely receiving keys. Again, if restrictions are still in place, we’ll implement similar measures to protect you.
What support is available?
If you join us, we want you to have the best possible University experience. To help you settle in, our ResLife programme has been designed to support you during your first year living away from home.
Each student village has a dedicated ResLife team which also works across many of our other accommodation sites, organising social events like quiz, gaming and movie nights which help create a friendly and fun community vibe.
ResLife also runs ‘skills sessions’ including life hacks for cooking and cleaning, and offers one-to-one support, so there’ll always be someone around if you need to talk.
To help students follow current Covid-19 restrictions, our ResLife teams have been delivering our programme online, making sure all students have the opportunity to socialise virtually, as well as advising on practising social distancing in shared accommodation.
We’ve also developed our own early warning system on campus to detect and monitor Covid-19 outbreaks, so we know who needs extra support in our community. Our extensive Student Health and Wellbeing Service has been working hard to support all our students. And our Accommodation Services teams have been offering practical help across our residences, keeping in regular contact with our students and making sure they’re supported.
Our students are at the heart of everything we do, so if restrictions continue, we’ll be there for you, too.
We hope this blog has helped you imagine what it'll be like living with us. To find out more about the University experience in 2021, why not download our new eBook, 2021 Entry: What will university be like?