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Students see university facilities as a higher priority than reputation when choosing their university, according to new research.

Choosing the perfect university

Gone are the days when students wanted to go where the party scene is; now they are looking for the campus with the very best facilities for them to learn and progress in.

The Association of University Directors of Estates (AUDE) conducted a survey of 2,000 students and found that 67% believed the facilities were a crucial part of their university decision.

A further 47% believed the reputation of the establishment was the most important factor, while 79% focused on the course and 69% based their decision on the location.

Sue Holmes, Chair of AUDE and Director of Estates and Facilities Management at Oxford Brookes University, said that British universities are aware that facilities now play a huge role in the decisions students are making about where to study.

She added that having well-maintained facilities of excellent quality is going to be the “key driver” for all universities in the future.

Ms Holmes concluded that due to universities currently suffering from a reduction in income they are going to have to “become even more efficient” to ensure they are capable of continued investment in state-of-the-art facilities.

Meeting student needs

Andrew May, Director of Estates, Hospitality and Contract Services at the University of Hertfordshire, said that he was unsurprised by students now opting for establishments with excellent facilities over other factors.

He explained that the University of Hertfordshire had recently invested a large sum of money in their facilities in order to meet student needs after realising this is exactly what was needed.

Mr May concluded that while the reputation of educational establishments is important, students are asking themselves whether they can work and learn in the current facilities.

Are you a recent graduate? What affected your decision of which university to attend?