University Business October 2017 - 13

SPONSORED CONTENT

Barry Telford
CEO, Universities West
Sodexo North America

Improving the student experience and quality
of life on college campuses
Sodexo's University Lifestyle Survey identifies and examines
trends in key areas for undergraduate students
Sodexo has provided dining and hospitality, student
accommodations and facilities management services to
the higher education community in the United States and
around the world for nearly 50 years. As a strategic partner
they focus on improving the student experience through
integrated services that promote quality of life. Sodexo's
University Lifestyle Survey tracks the undergraduate student
journey, providing valuable insights and identifying key
trends in non-academic areas of university life.

to increase collaboration and social engagement. I think
providing areas where socialization and collaboration takes
place is absolutely critical. It could be redesigning living
and learning spaces, or rethinking how people gather in
conventional places such as libraries. Also, universities
need to reconsider traditional gathering spaces by adding a
third space, which is not really a living or learning area, but
somewhere on campus that encourages social interaction,
engagement and collaboration.

How can university leaders connect with students and
parents in ways that will inspire them to apply to their
school? For universities, the age-old adage that you get
only one chance to make a first impression does apply here.
According to the survey, 43 percent of U.S. students make
their decision on where to attend college based largely on
their first impression of the campus. First-year students
are also doing research digitally before they even set foot
on campus. That close monitoring of the online presence
makes a critical impression on first-year students. We
found that 83 percent of students consider a friendly
campus more important than a university's reputation, and
62 percent consider the campus tour more influential than
their parents' advice.
I think the takeaway for universities is the importance
to be prescriptive about the look and feel of the campus,
especially in campus tour season. The grounds need to be
meticulously maintained, maintenance issues that can be
easily seen must be addressed, cleaning is critical, and the
university must coach people conducting tours to be really
friendly and welcoming.

What can university leaders do to better demonstrate
the value of the college experience and prepare students
for success after graduation? One of the most interesting
outcomes of the survey was how concerned U.S. students
are regarding their future. They are not only apprehensive
about mounting student loan debt and other forms of
financial liability, but they also indicated growing concerns
over securing a job after graduation and maintaining a good
quality of life. University leaders need to reinforce the idea
that working toward a degree is not a financial liability, it's
an investment in a student's future. There are ways to add
value: Ensuring access to student support services, quality
dining facilities, consistent Wi-Fi and new technologies,
clean laundry areas, transportation and gym access.
Universities also need to be committed to areas that are
important to their students such as environmental and
social responsibility: food waste, water conservation and
alternative energy. As a service provider and partner, we
must offer the best possible student experience by working
very closely with universities. This survey is going to be the
first of a lot research we do around this.

The survey found that 86 percent of U.S. students study
independently in their rooms. What can be done to
encourage more collaboration and idea-sharing among
U.S. students? This is one of the most telling findings in the
survey, and it should cause some concern. Collaboration
is key to problem-solving in business or academia.
Universities have an opportunity, and a responsibility,

Find the entire Sodexo University Lifestyle Survey at www.sodexo.com
View, comment, share this story online at UBmag.me/sodexo


http://www.sodexo.com http://www.sodexo.com http://www.UBmag.me/sodexo

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of University Business October 2017

University Business October 2017 - Cover1
University Business October 2017 - Cover2
University Business October 2017 - 1
University Business October 2017 - 2
University Business October 2017 - 3
University Business October 2017 - 4
University Business October 2017 - 5
University Business October 2017 - 6
University Business October 2017 - 7
University Business October 2017 - 8
University Business October 2017 - 9
University Business October 2017 - 10
University Business October 2017 - 11
University Business October 2017 - 12
University Business October 2017 - 13
University Business October 2017 - 14
University Business October 2017 - 15
University Business October 2017 - 16
University Business October 2017 - 17
University Business October 2017 - 18
University Business October 2017 - 19
University Business October 2017 - 20
University Business October 2017 - 21
University Business October 2017 - 22
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University Business October 2017 - 24
University Business October 2017 - 25
University Business October 2017 - 26
University Business October 2017 - 27
University Business October 2017 - 28
University Business October 2017 - 29
University Business October 2017 - 30
University Business October 2017 - 31
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University Business October 2017 - 33
University Business October 2017 - 34
University Business October 2017 - 35
University Business October 2017 - 36
University Business October 2017 - 37
University Business October 2017 - 38
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University Business October 2017 - 40
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University Business October 2017 - 50
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University Business October 2017 - 58
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University Business October 2017 - Cover3
University Business October 2017 - Cover4
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