Last year, the University of Leicester switched from offering new students a simple choice of hall, plus en suite or shared, to pricing which more accurately reflected the diverse nature and size of the rooms available. It also radically stepped up the quality of information on offer, including lots of photos, 360 degree campus images and practical descriptions.
For the first time, too, compliance and duty-of-care information was provided on the accommodation portal, using the Campus Life student welcome service. The results, says Leicester’s, Andrew Gahagan, were unequivocal:
“It was a lot of work, but we have gained at every stage. Fewer students rejecting offers, fewer withdrawals both on arrival and during term. Students engaged with the portal so much that it became the main source of information about the halls”.
Overall withdrawals dropped by 10%:“The accommodation proved a lot easier to sell and a lot easier to manage because satisfaction levels were so much higher and remedial activity much reduced”.
Andrew says that the Campus Life service attracted especially high levels of engagement from overseas students, providing hard evidence that its messages haven’t just been ‘broadcast’, they have, at least to a greater extent than before, been received and internalised, too.
CMA report a real driver
Andrew says that Leicester decided to take a rigorous and broad interpretation of the Competition and Markets Authority report, applying its recommendations “to all aspects of what we do”.
Leicester’s new granular pricing, thorough accommodation information and Campus Life welcome service are, he says, amongst the most visible of those aspects within the Estates & Campus Services division.