Residential Services are this year taking part in the Investor in Students survey. This student experience survey is run by student accommodation experts the WAU agency over two rounds of insight. It aims to give a 360 view of the experience of living in student accommodation. This is done by measuring the sentiment of students living in halls, the staff who work in them and the senior management who run them.
There are currently 16 organisations participating in the survey. This includes other universities such as the University of Birmingham and the University of Sheffield. It also includes purpose built student accommodation (PBSA) providers like Homes for Students.
First round – student experience survey
The first short survey to students in our accommodation saw a strong response rate of 28% in autumn 2022. The results were largely extremely positive. There were particularly strong scores for the check-in process and the cleanliness and condition of our accommodation when students arrived.
For both of these questions we scored the highest out of all organisations surveyed. Clearly a testament to the fantastic effort and hard work put in by staff over the summer months! This ensures that students not only have a great first experience of their accommodation, but that their welcome to the University as a whole is positive.
Second round – including staff in survey
The second round of the survey will be out in late April 2023. This time we will also be asking our staff for their impression of the student experience at the University. This helps to identify where we are succeeding and potentially what is holding us back if we don’t perform as highly in some areas.
Gathering staff insight on the student experience as part of a formal survey is a new approach for Residential Services. Because of this the senior management team will be engaging closely with site staff to help explain what we’re trying to achieve by taking part in the survey. It represents a fantastic chance for our most knowledgeable resource, our staff, to help contribute their expertise.
Undertaking the student experience survey with the WAU Agency has provided us with the opportunity to uniquely benchmark many areas of our operation with some of our biggest competitors.
To be sector leading in a number of areas is a testament to the hard work of many teams, particularly those in student facing roles in our halls and within our Residence Life team. We’re excited to utilise the data gathered in order to set some achievable objectives so that we can continue to improve the experience of living in halls and help students feel part of a caring community.
Rebecca O’Hare, Assistant Director (Residence Life & Accommodation Office), Residential Services