During the worldwide pandemic, the importance of having a central campus became even more eminent. While classes and exams were able to transition to online environments (some universities were better at this than others), student engagement and interaction was not.
Now that life has been back to normal in most places, the benefits of a lively and vibrant campus have returned. But what exactly are those benefits? We’ve outlined the top 3 reasons that universities have provided us with.
- Attracting students: A lively & vibrant campus acts as a great selling point for prospective students. According to a survey conducted by the Higher Education Policy Institute, 71% of students indicated that a strong sense of belonging is important when deciding where to study. When students visit a university, they want to see a place that is alive and active, with a range of activities and events going on. This can make the university more welcoming and help to attract more prospective students.
- Enhancing the student experience: A campus can also enhance the student (and employee) experience. When students have access to a range of activities and events, they are more likely to get involved and feel a sense of belonging. This can lead to higher levels of student satisfaction and engagement. According to data from the European Association for International Education, the average student satisfaction rate for universities in Europe is 85%. Although this may seem high, bear in mind that many universities welcome thousands of new students every year, and that every percent increase can lead to a few hundred extra students graduating.
- Boosting morale: When people feel a sense of connection to their university and enjoy participating in activities and events, they are more likely to be satisfied with their experience and feel a sense of pride in their community. According to a survey conducted by the National Union of Students in the UK, 87% of students believe that extracurricular activities are important for their overall wellbeing. If students only attend university to study, they are much more likely to lose motivation or hit a burnout.
A vibrant campus is therefore not just important for current students, but can also add benefits for other stakeholder groups such as prospective students, alumni, and employees. Developing a campus where students feel welcomed and at ease can drastically improve the overall experience.
Creating such a campus requires time however (there’s no simple checklist), and getting there can be a challenge; a worthwhile challenge.