University Business January 2018 - 41

SPONSORED WEB SEMINAR DIGEST

BARRY TELFORD
CEO, Universities West
Sodexo North America

Moderator: What are some strategies you're seeing from institutions to deal with this kind of shift?
Barry Telford: We are seeing a shift in how many universities start to market themselves. Think about the
interaction points, certainly online-is the website
easy to maneuver? Think about someone calling in to
the university with specific questions-is it easy access? Those things are critical. We're also seeing a shift
in how marketing goes beyond aesthetics. We're past
curb appeal now. Landscaping and beautiful buildings
are also critical, but it's also about the long-term vision
for that campus.
That's why this survey is so important. It shows that
the campus tour is absolutely critical. It could actually
come down to who's giving the tour. It could come
down to whether Wi-Fi was accessible during the tour.
Did someone walk away saying, "Gee, that felt good.
It felt like I could belong quickly, easily."
It appears that universities must consider how to
promote engagement and collaboration, and certainly problem-solving. These are vital skills for career
and life successes. It's critical that students learn how
to work together, how to feel comfortable in a group
setting, how to share ideas. The survey found that 86
percent of U.S. students study alone in their rooms.
They are completely missing the opportunity to collaborate, to share knowledge and to engage socially
in different groups and different cultures. Universities have to solve for this, to think about how we can
encourage collaboration, and create a "third space"
option where students can further explore living,
learning, communities, interaction-a safe place to
promote engagement.
In terms of retaining students, one of the most interesting outcomes of the survey was how concerned
students are about their future. They're also apprehensive about mounting student loan debt and other
forms of financial liability that they're incurring along

the way, along with a growing concern about securing
a job after graduation and maintaining a good quality
of life.
Moderator: A lot of people have made the point that it
should be thought of more as an investment and not a
debt. Would you agree with that?
Barry Telford: Absolutely. In the past students saw a
degree as something very different than how they're
seeing it now. One of the things this survey showed
is that beyond academia, there are ways that universities can provide perceived value. Things like ensuring that there's access to student support services, or
quality dining facilities where people can enjoy one
another's company. Wi-Fi is absolutely critical, so that
students feel connected and part of the community.
Other examples reported include clean laundry areas,
free transportation on campus, access to a gym and
social spaces.Then, in terms of succeeding, the survey
showed us that it's a very mixed picture for student
life. Those days where students were very carefree
have changed, and it's something we need to be paying attention to.
Moderator: That's one of the striking takeaways from
the study-the stress, the anxiety, the worry that this
generation feels. Are there things that institutions can
do to shape the student experience in a way that lessens some of that pressure?
Barry Telford: We're seeing lots of work in this area.
We've got to figure out how to have a positive impact
on the quality of life that students are experiencing,
including more effective ways to support student success-things like career services, and partnerships
with business and social enterprise, getting students
involved with organizations outside of the university,
and with co-op and learning programs.

To watch this web seminar in its entirety, visit www.universitybusiness.com/ws102617


http://www.universitybusiness.com/ws102617

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of University Business January 2018

University Business January 2018 - Cover1
University Business January 2018 - Cover2
University Business January 2018 - 1
University Business January 2018 - 2
University Business January 2018 - 3
University Business January 2018 - 4
University Business January 2018 - 5
University Business January 2018 - 6
University Business January 2018 - 7
University Business January 2018 - 8
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