Here! Student Living conducted a survey of 1000 students to ask them about their experiences, needs and desires when it came to living accommodation. They were asked about student life, their accommodation preferences and bedrooms.
The survey found, that on average, students spend roughly 13 out of 24 hours a day in their bedroom, with most choosing to spend far more time studying in their rooms (73%) than on campus or public places (27%). The survey aimed to find out more about what students wanted from their living accommodation and their overall living experience at university.
According to the survey, 37% of students now live at home while studying at university. Official statistics suggest this has increased from just 8% over the past twenty years. One explanation could be that a resounding 70% said that their student accommodation was not up to the standard they expected when they chose their location. 66% of students rated their accommodation below average and 20% described their accommodation as good or better. Students in the North East had the lowest opinion of their accommodation, with over 75% describing it as below average or worse. London and the North West were the only regions where the majority rated their accommodation good or better.
The survey then delved into the reasons behind this. Most students agreed that they had too many housemates, with the average student revealed to be living with four housemates – whilst also choosing two housemates as the ideal number.
A lack of additional amenities such as access to a gym or outside space was also an issue, with students scoring their accommodation an average of three out of ten. The style and furnishing of accommodation was also under fire, with participants most often describing it as ‘basic’ or ‘cheap’.
The Here! Student Living survey also aimed to uncover what students find most important when choosing their accommodation. They were asked about which local amenities they found most essential for them to live in close proximity to. Fitness was a big priority for a lot of students, with living close to or with accommodation featuring a gym being most important for 46% of those surveyed.
Living close to bars and nightclubs was deemed second most important with 23% saying they prioritised proximity to nightlife when choosing where to live. Shopping close by, close connections to good public transport and proximity to campus were the other top choices. The focus on fitness is especially necessary given just 0.4% prioritised living close to a GP or hospital.
Students were asked if they had photos of friends or family in their student bedroom, with a huge majority of 89% saying they do. Mum’s photo is the most popular accessory of any student room, with 48% saying they had a photo of their mother in their bedroom compared to just 34% for Dad. Interestingly, 22% admitted to having a photo or poster of their celebrity crush in their student accommodation. Boys are twice as likely (30%) to have their celebrity crush on the wall than girls (15%).
The participants went on to state that, on average, ‘practicality’ was the most important consideration for the planning of the room, followed by ‘tidiness’. The ability to entertain company was bottom of the list. However, although practicality reigned supreme, they did rank a television higher than a desk in order of things the room needed.
Students were also asked about their dream accommodation. When asked if money was no object, what features would they most desire in their ideal accommodation, 45% of students chose an en suite bathroom as their most sought after student accommodation feature. Students in London found the thought of a champagne bar most appealing, whilst students from the North East wanted a free breakfast buffet.
“The majority of the findings in the survey haven’t surprised us, and it is for these reasons we have worked hard to create spaces that are truly a home away from home. All our rooms are en-suite and all our buildings have free on-site gyms, laundry facilities, outdoor and social spaces, and are centrally located. Here! Student Living is all about creating quality student homes as unique as the people who live in them, with friendly, switched-on staff who make you feel at home and high-end fittings and facilities so you enjoy your time here.”Paul Watson, Operations Director, Here! Student Living