Students’ sense of community ‘on the slide’, research suggests

Pressure of higher fees and rise in en-suite accommodation blamed

August 2, 2014

Students’ sense of cohesion and community in accommodation at university is on the wane, with more than one in three failing to form close friendships with those they live with, according to new research.

The rise of en-suite and studio accommodation, and the increasing pressures of work since the introduction of higher fees, have been put forward as possible explanations.

Red Brick Research, an analysis firm, looked at responses to its National Student Housing Survey and found that less than half (47 per cent) of those living in university accommodation felt a strong sense of community in where they lived.

In private halls this proportion fell to 39 per cent, while in private rented accommodation it was only a third.

Tim Daplyn, managing director of Red Brick Research, said: “We’ve seen a steady decline in students’ sense of community and social cohesion since we began measuring in 2011.

“While forming lasting friendships in your accommodation was once the norm and a rite of passage for students, the increasing prevalence of en-suite accommodation and studio flats has left students more isolated than before”.

He continued: “We’ve also seen an increasing focus on academic achievement since the introduction of increased tuition fees, and a desire to ‘get the most out’ of the university experience which leaves less time for relaxation and casual social interaction.”

One in four students said that they never cook with others or share cooking, while 44 per cent of those living in halls thought they would share accommodation in the future with their hall-mates.

david.matthews@tsleducation.com

You've reached your article limit.

Register to continue

Registration is free and only takes a moment. Once registered you can read a total of 3 articles each month, plus:

  • Sign up for the editor's highlights
  • Receive World University Rankings news first
  • Get job alerts, shortlist jobs and save job searches
  • Participate in reader discussions and post comments
Register

Have your say

Log in or register to post comments

Featured Jobs

Most Commented

Monster behind man at desk

Despite all that’s been done to improve doctoral study, horror stories keep coming. Here three students relate PhD nightmares while two academics advise on how to ensure a successful supervision

Sir Christopher Snowden, former Universities UK president, attacks ratings in wake of Southampton’s bronze award

opinion illustration

Eliminating cheating services, even if it were possible, would do nothing to address students’ and universities’ lack of interest in learning, says Stuart Macdonald

Female professor

New data show proportion of professors who are women has declined at some institutions

celebrate, cheer, tef results

Emilie Murphy calls on those who challenged the teaching excellence framework methodology in the past to stop sharing their university ratings with pride