A fresh look
Most people have a sense of what modern students in the UK are like. After all, many of us have been privileged enough to have the benefit of higher education at some stage in our lives.
However, when it comes to what students really want to get out of their university experience, beyond education, not many of us can say we accurately represent the views of those either currently enrolled, or preparing to attend one of the UK’s higher education establishments. The cultural fabric, the legal landscape, and even the financial climate of the UK has changed beyond recognition since many readers studied for their degrees — and will continue to change with each new generation.
Our latest research report - Extra Curricular - seeks to find out what really matters to what has become an increasingly discerning audience. An education has never been more expensive, more competitive, or even more scrutinised than it is today. It is why higher education institutions who offer more added value, beyond the standards of education they bestow on this new breed of customers, stand a better chance of attracting a higher number of candidates than their competitors.
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Extra Curricular (PDF, 1.7MB)
Extra Curricular looks into what students really want to get from their experience in higher education, and the importance they place on certain criteria before and during their time at university.
This research is designed to do something to move the collective preconception of student life away from the clichéd backdrop of bad nutrition and trips to the pub, so our findings have been specifi cally focused into seven key themes.
Our focus was to gauge the opinions of current students, who have already spent at least one year in student accommodation. However, we also wanted to understand the preconceptions of young people about to enter into higher education to see whether the reality of accommodation measured up to expectations.
To understand these audiences, we undertook a blend of quantitative and qualitative research methods, in conjunction with our research partners Morar Consulting. We polled over 1,700 students across the UK at the start of June 2015.
Using Morar’s online system, we were able to compare and contrast the opinions of several groups: sixth formers actively looking into their choice of university, first year students coming to the end of their fi rst year of life in student accommodation, international students at the same stage and post graduate students.
Qualitatively, we ran focus groups with our partners at the University of Essex, getting deeper insight into their expectations, experiences and ideas on the subject of student life.
Project co-ordination: Nicolas Swiderski, Nicolas Guerin, Samantha Veal, Ian Smith, Steve Atkin, Simon Cotteral, Karis Galliano Editorial team: Simon Cotteral, Jamie Collins-Adams, Steve Atkin, Samantha Veal Graphic concept: Goosebumps