A new study which looks into the student experience and how important university facilities are, has revealed that two thirds (67 per cent) of UK students say that facilities were a key factor when choosing their university.
As expected, the research highlighted course (79 per cent) and location (69 per cent) were marginally more important with reputation (47 per cent) and the student Union (18 per cent) making up the top five.
The research, commissioned by AUDE (Association of University Directors of Estates), surveyed two thousand students on their university choice and the facilities that are most important to them.
The library is the most used university facility for 64 per cent of UK students with IT facilities, often located in the library, coming in second for 48 per cent of students.
Universities are certainly looking after their most popular facilities as a large majority (77 per cent) of students described their work facilities including libraries and IT facilities as either good or excellent. These facilities are well looked after because they influence 62 per cent of UK students when choosing university.
Of all students surveyed, 85 per cent said they are learning, socialising and living in clean and well-maintained university buildings. This indicates a high level of care and maintenance for university buildings all year round and with 71 per cent of students agreeing that the look of a university is important.
Sue Holmes, chair, Association of University Directors of Estates and Director Of Estates and Facilities Management at Oxford Brookes University, commented:
“Choosing a university is one of the most important decisions a person can make and we are acutely aware that facilities play an important role. As the cap on student numbers is lifted and a free market emerges having excellent and well-maintained facilities is going to be a key driver for all universities. In a climate where income is reducing in real terms, universities are having to become even more efficient to enable them to continue to invest.”