A new survey among more than 2,000 people across the UK has revealed the most important factors for prospective students when choosing which university to attend.
SPCE Labs, the research arm of student lettings app SPCE, commissioned the independent research in March 2018. The respondents, current undergraduate students at UK universities or people who have graduated in the past decade, were asked to score a range of factors from one to ten based on their importance, with one being not important at all and 10 being extremely important.
SPCE Labs’ research demonstrates that students’ choices mainly centre on the academic appeal of a university. The course it offers for a particular subject was the most important factor, with an average score of 8.4 out of ten among the respondents. This was followed by the uni’s overall reputation (7.7) and its ability to boost future career prospects (7.1).
Interestingly, the survey found that nightlife was not deemed important to students, with an average score of 4.6, this ranked 12th on the list. Sports (3.9), having friends or family at the same uni (3.9) and the weather (3.6) were also largely dismissed as insignificant.
With a score of 5.8, the support infrastructure offered by a university was deemed an important consideration in students’ decisions. Moreover, when comparing scores from current students (5.9) with past graduates (4.9), the research illustrates how much more important this factor has become.
Leon Ifayemi, CEO and Co-Founder of SPCE said, “(the) research dispels several myths about student culture in the UK. Young people are not making decisions based on a university’s nightlife, nor whether or not they have friends going to the same place – clearly the importance of social factors pales in comparison to the academic merits of their decision.
“Of course, a uni’s reputation and the curriculum it offers are key; however, we are also seeing the growing value of support services within educational establishments. Evidently, students are increasingly looking for places to turn to for help while undergoing stresses at uni. And with almost nine in ten students saying they struggle to cope with the social or academic aspects of university life, it’s likely we will see support systems become an even more important consideration for prospective students in the years ahead.”