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Research into Practice

17 Oct 2023
Estates & Facilities Management Stage

Campus Experience Index
Samantha Hall, Principal Director, Campus Intuition

Every day universities have thousands of users interacting with the campus environment. Staff, students and visitors access classrooms, accommodation, offices, studios, laboratories, libraries, galleries and cafes. How well do these physical spaces support their experience?

Measuring a student’s response to the campus environment is complex. Historically, student experience has focused on digital, course, teaching and enrolment. Yet the built environment plays a significant role in the micro-experiences that make up a student’s day, from arrival to departure. This layer of evidence can add a new dimension to decision-making for estates teams.

This talk will cover latest results from the Campus Experience Index (CEI). The CEI is an evaluation tool where students give feedback across campus facilities – teaching spaces, libraries, study areas, safety, IT, wayfinding and belonging. It has been used across Australian, UK and European universities including University of Bristol, Exeter, Hull, Cranfield and Brighton.

Students rate various elements of the physical campus in the CEI, and then leave comments. This generates thousands of comments which are analysed to help identify where estates teams should be spending capital to improve buildings. Campus experience issues may not need to be solved with expensive new builds, but with some low-cost tweaks across the existing estate.

This talk will go through the global results with examples from each category of the CEI, showing what students like and dislike about facilities.

Design Criteria for social spaces and a healthier university campus
Adelina Manea, Academic Development Officer in CAD, Coventry University

This presentation is the culmination of my MSc Research for the past three years. I have analysed design factors for university campuses, and I have tested these on the Coventry University campus, to determine good design principles. As an outcome I have designed a 5 pillar design scoring criteria for successful social spaces which works alongside sustainability frameworks like BREEAM.

This study started with an aspiration to discover the essence of good campus design which allows students and staff to thrive. Although for students the experience is relatively short, it has been discovered it can have large ramifications into their lives as it sets out rules and boundaries for working practice, and with more people choosing to pursue an undergraduate degree in the UK today than ever before, the university experience will impact an increasing proportion of the population.

This topic has been explored through the psychology lens, but there is limited research about designing spaces to flourish, therefore this study aims to determine new ways to analyse design to enable designers and stakeholders to make informed decisions when it comes to university campuses.


Lucy Plumridge, Associate Director - HLM Architects
Samantha Hall, Principal Director - Campus Intuition
Adelina Manea, Academic Development Officer in CAD - Coventry University



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