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Looking back: The History of ASRA

By PoppyHumphrey 06 Feb 2019

ASRA traces its roots back to the late 1950s and early 1960s, when two separate student accommodation professionals' networks - one for HE and one for FE, and run by volunteers from the sector - were set up.

The usefulness of the support and networking opportunities these networks offered to specialist student accommodation practitioners meant that these groups soon gathered members. They formally established constitutions and committee structures and became known as the Association of University Accommodation Officers (AUAO), and the National Association of Accommodation & Welfare Officers (NAAWO). From the beginning, AUAO included Members from the Republic of Ireland as well as the United Kingdom and actively encouraged wider international participation at its annual conference. For NAAWO, student support, in addition to accommodation work, was the significant theme.

In the early 1990s, both associations held several joint conferences, at which members had the opportunity to observe for themselves the two bodies' many shared issues and objectives. In 1997, following several months of joint planning and negotiation, both bodies came together as the Association for Student Residential Accommodation.

ASRA continues to make efforts to gradually widen participation, enlarging its membership, and bringing about a healthy cross-fertilisation in the public and private student accommodation sectors. 

Take a look back, who remembers these? 

  • ASRA 2009 - Hertfordshire
  • ASRA 2017 - Brighton

1999Norbreck Hotel, BlackpoolNorth West
2000St Andrews UniversityScotland
2001Adelphi Hotel, LiverpoolNorth West
2002Homerton College, CambridgeEast
2003Britannia Hotel, ManchesterNorth West
2004University of EdinburghScotland
2005University of Kent, CanterburySouth East
2006University of YorkNorth East
2007University of SwanseaWales
2008Loughborough UniversityEast Midlands
2009University of HertfordshireEast
2010Crowne Plaza, Dublin Ireland
2011University of WarwickMidlands
2012University of ExeterSouth West
2013University of EdinburghScotland
2014University of YorkNorth East
2015Celtic Manor Hotel, NewportWales
2016Europa Hotel, BelfastIreland
2017Hilton Brighton MetropoleSouth East
2018Hilton Birmingham MetropoleWest Midlands
2019Macdonald Aviemore ResortScotland

...and so our story continues, get in touch to share your ASRA memories!


PoppyHumphrey is ASRA Communications & IT Officer. Based at Manchester Student Homes
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