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May 2014

Why quality is the key to attracting students

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Why quality is the key to attracting students

The quality of facilities is playing a growing role in the decision making of undergraduates as they choose their university, a survey seen by Salford student accommodation provider Portergate reveals.

More than three-quarters of 2,000 students quizzed said the facilities at their prospective university influenced their choice-making decision.

Today universities acknowledge that students want good facilities for the fees they pay. And, as Portergate knows, the same goes for their accommodation.

Quality is key to Portergate’s approach. Its acclaimed Riverside House student accommodation in Salford has a boutique feel, with modern, stylish kitchens and bathrooms.

Each luxury apartment includes fully-furnished living space and fitted kitchen complete with appliances. Bedrooms are also fully furnished and have broadband internet.

Riverside is within walking distance of the University of Salford, which is only minutes away. And it is also well-placed for all that Manchester city centre has to offer in amenities and the city’s excellent transport links.

The quality survey, conducted by One Poll on behalf of the Association of University Directors of Estates (Aude), found 90% of students polled thought their university buildings were well looked after.

After the library and IT provision, the most used buildings on campus were the sports facilities, followed by the students’ union.

Asked which luxury item they would like to bring with them from home, 40% of the students said a flat-screen TV or other technology.

Andrew Burgess, chairman-elect, at Aude and deputy chief operating officer at Loughborough University, said: “There is a clear link between the buildings and accommodation on offer at a university and the desirability of that establishment to potential students.

“With the [higher education] sector becoming increasingly a buyer’s market – more choice for students who are paying increasing tuition fees (currently up to £9,000 a year) – directors of estates always have to keep students at the forefront of their decision-making.

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“However, this is only one side of the coin. In light of government spending cuts and slowing growth, development projects have to be both value for money and state of the art to attract students and enable universities to compete on an international level.”

Anthony Jackson, chairman of Portergate, said: “We are committed to quality and understand exactly what today’s student requires.

“Part of getting the very best out of your student time is ensuring your accommodation meets all your needs and helps make your time at university a pleasant, enjoyable and rewarding experience and that is something we at Portergate are committed to delivering.”

The attractive riverside location midway between the University of Salford and the heart of Manchester, the UK’s second city, is attracting enquiries from students studying in both Salford and the universities in Manchester.