Student halls to go posh
It seems the days of plasterboard walls and dribbling low-pressure showers could be over for halls residents in the next few years, as universities are spending millions on new buildings in a bid to woo new students away from the competition. The renovations include campus hotels, an overseas student village and better bedrooms, a survey by building firm Wates has found, with improved facilities for overseas and postgraduate students being planned by two-thirds of universities.
In fact, a whopping 79% of the universities surveyed have construction plans costing more than £5m scheduled for next year.
According to figures from the admissions service, university applications from UK students for the first year of higher tuition fees are down by 8.7%, so universities are racing to up their appeal with swanky accommodation to secure new higher paying students.
Ian Vickers of Wates said: ‘Students are being asked to pay more than ever before for a university degree. That means they expect a quality of experience that reflects the high price they are paying.
‘In order to remain competitive, universities are therefore looking to deliver modern facilities that have the ‘wow’ factor while also encouraging more efficient and collaborative use of space.’
The survey, with 52 responses, allowed the institutions to remain anonymous, but Wates said it was a representative sample of different types of university.
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