November 2022 Virtual Conference!

Dear UKTGA Member

Hi everyone,
You are all invited to the UKTGA virtual conference on November 15th from 9:30am-4:30pm. This all-day event includes sessions from council members, council officers, professors, landlords student wellbeing practitioners, and many others. A full overview of the day’s speakers presenters can be found below.

The cost for the full day’s conference is only £35.00 (including VAT) , and payments can be  paid made  by card at or by calling 161 275 7682 and registering with a member of Manchester Student Homes using the online link below.
payment link here

Any enquiries can be made to
Or call – 0161 275 7680

Confirmed Speakers for the Day

Councillor Bev Craig – Leader of Manchester City Council

Bev Craig, Councillor for Burnage ward, became leader of Manchester City Council in December 2021. As leader, her focus is on Manchester’s ambitious COVID recovery, the importance of building a more inclusive and sustainable economy, children and young people, equalities, housing and zero carbon. She is also Greater Manchester Combined Authority portfolio lead for Economy, Business & International.


Dr Simon Merrywest – Director for the Student Experience - University of Manchester

Simon leads the Directorate and has overall responsibility for its staff and operations. He is also a member of the Professional Services Leadership Team and works in partnership with the Vice-President for Teaching, Learning and Students, and other senior colleagues and students in the development and delivery of strategies to deliver an outstanding experience for all students.

Professor Darren Smith (Geography and Environment) – University of Loughborough
Darren is fascinated by the formation of new social and economic geographies that are giving rise to more exclusive, segregated, and transient societies. He coined the term ‘studentification’ to conceptualise processes of change within university towns and cities tied to the growth of student populations and the expansion of higher education.

Changing geographies of post-studentification?
Abstract - The demand and supply of student housing is being reconfigured within the context of a fluid and changing world.  The profound effects of the Covid pandemic and unfolding political, policy and economic conditions are reshaping where, why, when, and how students are accommodated in towns and cities.  Student experiences, forms of study, and lifestyles are being redefined and redrawn, and social relations within the student population are being transformed by changing aspirations and motivations, and engagements with ‘the campus’.  This changing context will have serious implications for future town and gown relations and how urban landscapes and societies are influenced by patterns of student housing and student populations, and higher education institutions. The aim of this session is to explore the scale and magnitude of these changing geographies of studentification, and to illuminate how some of these unfolding challenges are being addressed and managed by a range of stakeholders.

Professor Robert Ralphs (Criminology and Social Policy) – Manchester Metropolitan University

Rob is a Professor of Criminology and Social Policy. He has 15 years’ experience of research and lecturing in the areas of substance misuse, youth crime, violent crime, gangs, criminal justice policy and criminological theory.

Dr Oliver Sutcliffe – Senior Lecturer and Director for Operation MANDRAKE – Manchester Metropolitan University
Oliver is the Director for Operation MANDRAKE. MANDRAKE is England's first publicly funded permanent city-centre based testing and harm reduction facility, operating since 2016, supporting open science and agencies working towards safeguarding the health and wellbeing of the public. The partnership which operates two permanent state-of-the-art, fully equipped laboratories, is working on a number of intelligence sharing projects to safeguard communities through drug awareness & harm-reduction.


Duncan Morrow - Lecturer in Politics and Director of Community Engagement - Ulster UniversityFor ten years, Duncan was Chief Executive of the Northern Ireland Community Relations Council where he championed the concept of a shared future and peace-building by developing the Council’s role in policy.

Ulster University’s decision to close their largest campus situation in a suburban setting near Belfast and move its 16,000 staff and students into an enhanced Belfast City Centre campus represented major institutional change and a considerable challenge for the city of Belfast and its city Centre neighborhoods. In the context of a city emerging from violent conflict, the new campus represented the biggest single investment in cultural and social change for 25 years. The new campus has fully opened in September 2022.The presentation will reflect on how the University adapted to Town and Gown issues of


  • shared space,
  • ongoing challenges of student and staff safety,
  • developing community relationships with communities directly impacted by the campus, and
  • the management and value of multiagency groups including Community, Policing, Local Authorities, and Government Departments and Agencies.

In the context of the Covid pandemic, the presentation will also reflect on how events impacted the progression of the completion of the campus.  In the presentation, we will reflect on the challenges of managing of-campus living, and the implications of universities and students for planning, management, and design in cities.
The presentation is of direct interest to all those engaged in university public engagement, student and community engagement officers, and all stakeholders involved in managing community/university affairs including local Councils and Police.  


Jenny Ardley – Community Warden – Loughborough University
Jenny Ardley has been the Community Warden at Loughborough University for eight years. There are roughly 8,500 students in a town of 60,000. The role covers welfare, anti-social behaviour, rubbish, recycling and littering, which is all tackled as a multi-agency partnership with Leicestershire Police and Charnwood Borough Council. Sustainability is now a thread within Loughborough University’s Strategy which is driving extra efforts to educate students about recycling and reusing common household items. New partnerships with charity organisations have ensured that items are well used by those who need them.

Carolyn Uphill  - Landlord
A student landlord in Manchester for 20 years, Carolyn Uphill was Chairman of the National Landlords Association for four years, on the Board of Directors for 10 and prepared the ground for its merger with the Residential Landlords Association. She remains an active member of the new National Residential Landlords Association which has over 95,000 members.

With a portfolio of 3 family homes and 3 student HMO’s Carolyn understand both markets. Taking pride in the service which she and her husband provide they have undertaken training to become and maintain their status as Accredited Landlords with the NRLA as well as adhering to the Manchester Student Homes Code.

Formerly MD of her own manufacturing company for 30 years Carolyn has since held a number of non-executive directorships and is currently the Independent Chairman of the Construction Skills Certification Scheme.

The Governments’ plans for Rental Reform, while intended to protect tenants, may have a negative if not terminal effect on the student rental market leading to a return to the sofa surfing of the 1970’s.

The proposals in the White Paper ‘A Fairer Private Rented Sector’ will result in an end to fix term tenancies. This session will explore the impact of this change on a market geared to the ‘academic year’ needs of students and the difficulties which Universities may face if first year students lose confidence in their ability to move and free up accommodation for the next intake. Scotland took this step some years ago and the negative results are becoming clear. Can the Government be persuaded that student accommodation is a special case?

Gavin Evans – Neighbourhood Manager – Manchester City Council Bio
Gavin Evans has worked at Manchester City Council for 23 years in various roles within Parks & Leisure, Regeneration, Youth Inclusion and Neighbourhoods. As Neighbourhood Manager he is responsible for improving neighbourhoods in the electoral wards of Withington, Old Moat and Fallowfield. There are approximately 80,000 students living in Manchester.

Leading on neighbourhood management in student populated areas involves working closely with services and partners such as Biffa, Manchester Student Homes, Greater Manchester Police, Manchester Metropolitan University and University of Manchester to tackle anti-social behaviour, waste & recycling, graffiti and fly tipping issues.

The Manchester focus is to engage with students to be good citizens by respecting local residents and the environment, participate in volunteering, events and activities and embrace our 'Give it Don't Bin it' recycling campaign alongside the British Heart Foundation to reduce, reuse and recycle.

Save The Date Virtual Conference 2022 - 'Off Campus: In Touch'

We are delighted to announce the return of the UKTGA conference – more details to follow soon – please SAVE THE DATE and if there are any immediate queries please get in touch.

Virtual Forum on 'Off Campus Management- Looking Ahead'

Our UKTGA Virtual Forum on ‘Off Campus Management’- Looking Ahead’ took place on 29th July.

Thank you to those of you who joined us!

There was a great deal of insightful discussion about plans in place to manage off campus issues in the coming months. We were also lucky enough to have colleagues from the ITGA join us to discuss their Certificate Programme.

If you would like a summary of the discussion points captured, and some great examples of initiatives being delivered, please do get in touch with

All the best


UKTGA Virtual Conference

Manchester Student Homes and the UKTGA continues to pave the way for collaborative work on town gown relations, across the globe.

On Wednesday 20th May, the UK Town and Gown Association (UKTGA) hosted a virtual discussion to bring together those that work and are interested in off campus student affairs, to consider the current challenges and identify potential solutions aligned to managing town gown relations during the current CV-19 period.

Manchester Student Homes’ Manager, and Chair of the UK Town and Gown Association (UKTGA) decided to use our ever-expanding global network of Higher Education professionals, private accommodation providers and members of Local Authorities to host a UKTGA online Virtual Conference.  We were delighted to welcome representatives that included University officers, Council and Police representatives, some real life students, academics, Private hall providers and wider sector bodies including representatives from the International Town and Gown Association, ASRA, as well as members of the Nordic Student Housing Organisation.

On the day we welcomed over 60 colleagues from the UK, Northern Ireland, America, Sweden, Norway and Denmark to spend two hours discussing the issues in which many University Cities and Towns are facing currently, will be sure to face in coming months, and the further implications that CV19 will have going forward.

Our pre-conference survey allowed us to pinpoint key areas in which our attendees wanted to focus on to share knowledge, experiences and best practices in their current environment. We also carried out a number of polls during the event to consider how well localised ‘town gown’ partnership were working together to respond to all the challenges.

Cooper Healey, Manager of Manchester Student homes and Chair if the UKTGA commented ‘The virtual forum offered the opportunity for colleagues to come together and collaborate, share experiences and new ideas. We received a huge amount of positive feedback from the discussions and colleagues utilising this network as a source of support during these uncertain times’

Poppy Humphrey, Off Campus Student Affairs Officer at Manchester Student Homes and who sits on the UKTGA Steering Group further added ‘It was encouraging to see that many of our current and anticipated challenges are being felt up and down the country, as well as in other countries. This is a comfort during such unprecedented times, as it means that via the UKTGA we have a network that we can share new and revised ways of working to help support all those that live in off campus communities.

An Invite to our Virtual Conference!

Dear all

Firstly, I hope this email finds you safe and well.

As Chair of the UK Town and Gown Association (UKTGA), I am writing to let you know that myself and the UKTGA Steering Group have taken to decision to postpone our November 2020 Conference. This will now be held November 8th – 10th 2021 and will still be hosted at the University of Birmingham. Despite this being a difficult decision, we felt it was the right approach under the circumstances.

In the interim, we recognise the importance of continued collaboration. I therefore wanted to take the opportunity to invite you to participate in an online discussion to consider the current issues and challenges being faced during CV-19, as well as identifying opportunities for new ways of working that are emerging to manage town gown issues in this current environment.

The virtual forum will take place on Wednesday 20th May between 2-4pm GMT.

Here’s a short message from me, explaining in more detail:

 If you are interested in taking part, please email Poppy on by close of play Monday 11th May 2020.

We hope that you can join us.


Best wishes and stay safe


Cooper Healey


UKTGA Conference Update

From us all here at UKTGA we hope that all our friends, followers and colleagues are keeping safe under the current effects of the Coronavirus pandemic.

It is under these circumstances that we have seen no other safe and logical decision other to postpone our UKTGA 2020 Conference until next year.

UKTGA 2021 will now take place November 8th – 10th 2021 and will still be held at the University of Birmingham.

We would like the thank the University of Birmingham for extending their hospitality until next year, where we will be back bigger and better than ever.

Your UKTGA Steering Group are busy working behind the scenes to consider new learning opportunities in these challenging times to support all our members. We will provide updates in due course.

In the meantime, please feel free to utilise our UKTGA Jisc network to meet likeminded individuals and share ideas and best practice on any issue relating to town gown relations. If you haven’t already signed up, please contact


With very best wishes,

The UK Town & Gown Association.

UKTGA & Student Accommodation Conference 2019

The 12th annual Student Accommodation Conference & Awards, organised by Property Week events, returns on Wednesday 11 December 2019 at the InterContinental London – The O2.

The Purpose Built Student Accommodation (PBSA) asset class is maturing and evolving in an operating environment where student well-being, affordability and access to technology are paramount. The right insights and connections will be key to harnessing opportunities and navigating the challenges ahead, making this year’s Student Accommodation Conference a must attend event!

Connect with the most influential figures from the PBSA sector and beyond, including notable operators, investors, developers, universities and higher-education thought leaders.

Our UKTGA Chair, Cooper Healey, has been invited to deliver a session addressing both the possible implications and benefits of the increased number of PBSA being built to accommodate the increasing number of young people deciding to go to University.

For more information, or to book tickets, please click here.

UKTGA 2020 - University of Birmingham - Save The Date!

The United Kingdom Town Gown Association is delighted to announce that the dates for the next UKTGA Conference are:

Monday 9th November – Wednesday 11th November 2020

Monday 9th November will comprise of training with the subsequent days being allocated for core conference activity.

We are particularly excited to announce that the 2020 Conference will be taking place at The University of Birmingham.

The purpose of this is to showcase the town gown partnerships that exist across the UK and to encourage those involved in town gown relations in a professional capacity to engage with the work of the UKTGA. Our conferences are the primary gathering of officers and practitioners from across the UK and beyond, and are a critical function of our organisation.

UKTGA Conference 2018

Manchester Student Homes, in partnership with Queen’s University Belfast, hosts its biggest and best UKTGA Conference yet!

Welcoming colleagues from across the UK and the United States, the United Kingdom Town Gown Association held its third Conference at Riddel Hall, Queen’s University Belfast on Monday 19th November - Tuesday 20th November 2018.

When Town met Gown

For the first time in the UK, Town and Gown officers had the chance to attain the Level 1 Certificate in ‘Town and Gown Relations’. This unique training session was delivered by Cooper Healey (Chair, UKTGA) and Poppy Humphrey (Off-Campus Student Affairs Officer, Manchester Student Homes) who was the only practitioner to hold this certificate, delivered by the ITGA. Opening discussions saw colleagues consider both the positives and challenges in their off-campus communities, and share their experiences.

You can read the full article here!

You can also find the Conference Literature here which has further information about the sessions and events held throughout the course of Conference.