Marketing & Media trends
- Auction industry survival depends on going virtualJoff van Reenen
- Covid-19 drives new trends in local property marketMarcél du Toit
- 3 major trends in the commercial property space in AfricaPeter Hodgkinson
- A bright horizon for South Africa's energy landscapeBarry Bredenkamp
- Achieving developmental goals through constructionCyril Vuyani Gamede
- Time for NPOs to show their real impactKeri-Leigh Paschal
- 5 sustainability trends that will shape business in 2021Christelle Marais
- 4 trends set to continue or be re-interpreted in the NGO sectorInnocent Masayira
- Strengthening NPO skills and processesNazeema Mohamed, Feryal Domingo and Soraya Joonas
- Sustainability is key for social investment in 2021Keri-Leigh Paschal
- 4 trends in employee skills development and training you need to know for 2021Siphelele Kubheka and Desikan Naidoo
- Digital solutions need small steps to succeedXanthe Adams
- Mining looks ahead to more Covid riskRalf Hennecke
- Mining's year ahead will demand deep innovationFrederick Cawood
- 10 predictions around fintechDominique Collett
- The 4 themes for the new yearAndrew Duvenage,
- 3 wealth management trends to watch in 2021Maarten Ackerman
- 4 strategies to rethink investing in SMEsKuhle Mnisi
- Microinsurance ready to reach new heightsMarius Botha
- Finding alpha in the age of Covid-19Nema Ramkhelawan-Bhana
- Purpose or profit. It's not a choiceMike Middleton
- Shifting towards a digital - but still human - approachHenry van Deventer
- Healthcare innovation in 2021 and beyondReynhardt Uys
- Are day hospitals the new trend?Lee Callakoppen
- 3 emerging medical scheme membership patternsNerine Brink
- Healthcare innovations to look out forMoshe Lichtenstein
- 4 areas in which your business can practice its swivelFrancois Kriel
- 5G is coming. Here's what it could mean for SASamantha Naidoo
- 3 big issues demanding legal attention this yearJonathan Veeran, Nozipho Mngomezulu and Burton Phillips
- 3 new trends to anticipate in arts and cultureRucera Seethal
- Wine in the wake of coronaKristen Duff and Gosia Young
- 7 prospects and necessary shifts for the artsRucera Seethal
- Tech democratisation will set the tone for 2021Andrew Smit and Johan Walters
- A bold year for beveragesAlex Glenday
- Acceleration of digital paymentsJonathan Smit
- Safety vs sustainability - the packaging industry's key conundrumNthabiseng Motsoeneng
- The evolving e-tail landscapeVilo Trska
#BizTrends2021: Re-thinking our approach to providing student housing in 2021
During the last year, South African students faced some of their greatest challenges yet. On top of the usual academic pressure and issues of affordability, many were forced to leave their on-campus accommodation and adjust to an entirely new style of learning. Across the board, these conditions are not conducive to academic success - especially for those living in under-resourced or stressful home environments.
John Schooling, director, STAG African
In the same way that buildings are designed with fire-safety in mind, even though there is never intended to be a fire, pandemic-proof aspects will become non-negotiable given the certainty of future outbreaks. This cannot be achieved through tacked on and ad hoc contingencies, but will require innovative, intentional design aspects. For example, residences that limit personal interactions, functional quarantine living quarters, and providing space for a live-in nurse when required.
Technology and education
Spurred on by the rapid integration of technology and learning during the Covid-19 lockdown, technology has become increasingly inseparable from learning, and this trend is guaranteed to continue. In the near-future, students won’t just need Wi-Fi on site, they’ll need Wi-Fi with fast download and upload speeds for video lectures and online tests. This also ensures they can remain connected to friends and family across the country in uncertain times – a vital aspect of coping during stressful times.
2020 has taught that flexibility and adaptability are key to survival, and it is imperative that we apply these lessons to our buildings. It is no longer sufficient to build solely according to the minimum norms and standards since these don’t take into account the need for flexible spaces that can evolve over time. In order to design for a future that we know nothing about, we need to think beyond square metres and focus on functionality – sometimes students will require communal workspaces, and other times they might require isolated spaces. It is in our best interests as developers, as educators and as a country to leave room for future uncertainties.
Affordability through sustainability
The pandemic has had a long-term impact on the spending capacity of universities and students alike. Affordability – already an ongoing issue in terms of South Africa’s student accommodation crisis – will continue to be a key factor. It is crucial that affordable housing is made available. This doesn’t mean cheap – rather, it means building accommodation that is high-quality, but uses innovative methods to reduce construction and lifecycle costs. This includes sustainable aspects, such as grey water systems, energy-saving lightbulbs and recycling programmes, which can reduce operating costs considerably.
About John SchoolingJohn Schooling is the founder and MD of STAG African - a multi-dimensional green property development, student accommodation and renewable energy group.
Read more: student accommodation, John Schooling, on-campus accommodation, Stag African, COVID-19 lockdown