What is Campus Experience and how do you measure it?


It goes without saying that the university experience goes well beyond the classroom. Often, our memories of university are more rooted in things like our first-year accommodation, the campus grounds, or how we got involved in the student union. These are the things that may have a bigger impact on us as we leave home for the first time and start to make new friends.

But how do you measure campus experience? It can sometimes feel quite intangible, and in many ways it is – but by breaking the campus experience down into different parts and surveying your students frequently, you can identify where there are experience gaps between what your students expect and what they’re getting.

And by looking at the many interactions students have with your university, you get a better idea of how they feel about the institution.

How to measure the campus experience

Housing

Student accommodation has a bad reputation, which is unfortunate as it has a big impact on student’s enjoyment of university. They spend a lot of time there and often it’s where they make their closest friends.

Student housing survey questions:

How would you describe your university accommodation?

  • Very bad
  • Quite bad
  • Neither good or bad
  • Quite good
  • Very good

How crowded is the accommodation at this university?

  • Extremely crowded
  • Very crowded
  • Moderately crowded
  • Slightly crowded
  • Not crowded at all

How could we improve your university accomodation?

Dining

If you offer on-campus dining or catered student accommodation, you can zero in on any issues by surveying your students on the quality of the food and service.

Student dining survey question:
How good or bad is the quality of the food served at [the university/your accommodation]?

  • Very good
  • Quite good
  • Neither good or bad
  • Quite bad
  • Very bad

Career centres

An alumnus’ view of their university is usually influenced by whether they were able to get a good job out of university, and whether it matched up to their degree. Find out about issues with career support before someone graduates by asking your student community about whether it’s meeting their expectations.

Student career centre survey questions:
How useful are the services provided at the on-campus career centre?

  • Extremely useful
  • Very useful
  • Moderately useful
  • Slightly useful
  • Not useful at all

How would you improve our career centre?

Student unions

You can work with student union leadership to help identify where improvements could be made to better serve students.

Student union survey questions:
How satisfied or dissatisfied are you with your student union?

  • Very Dissatisfied
  • Somewhat Dissatisfied
  • Neutral
  • Somewhat Satisfied
  • Very Satisfied

What can be done to improve your student union?

Events and activities

It can cost a lot of money to run events and keep university activities going, so it pays to make sure they’re actually meeting students’ expectation. You can survey students after every event you run, or run more infrequent surveys about general satisfaction.

Student events and activities survey questions:
How satisfied or dissatisfied were you with the university sponsored extracurricular activities at this university?

  • Very Dissatisfied
  • Somewhat Dissatisfied
  • Neutral
  • Somewhat Satisfied
  • Very Satisfied

What events would you like us to run?

How would you rate the extracurricular activities at the university (e.g. sports teams, volunteering, language classes)?

  • Very good
  • Quite good
  • Neither good or bad
  • Quite bad
  • Very bad

Campus safety

Many of the world’s leading universities are using technology to give students a voice and allow them to report concerns about campus safety in a safe, easy way.

Rather than distributing a survey about campus safety, you should make it possible for students to submit concerns whenever they want. You could do this by having the survey always be accessible from your website, app, or other student platforms.

Campus safety survey questions:
How safe or unsafe do you feel on campus?

  • Extremely safe
  • Slightly safe
  • Neither safe or unsafe
  • Slightly unsafe
  • Extremely unsafe

How would you rate the safety of these areas (Very safe, Quite safe, Neither safe or unsafe, Quite unsafe, Very unsafe)

  • Inside campus buildings
  • The area around campus
  • University car parks
  • Student accommodation
  • Student union

Share any comments you have on campus safety:

Bullying and harassment

You can use surveys to understand whether bullying or harassment are an issue in your university. And if it is, you can identify where you may need to focus efforts and whether there are particularly problematic areas on your campus.

Student bullying survey questions:

Have you ever been bullied at the university?

  • Yes
  • No

Have you ever witnessed someone being bullied?

  • Yes
  • No

Have you seen or experienced any of the following?

  • Physical abuse
  • Verbal abuse
  • Abusive posts on social media
  • Threats
  • Excessive criticism

Have you raised the issue with faculty?

Were any actions taken?

If action was taken, did the situation improve?

Diversity & Inclusion

Universities are putting a much greater focus on ensuring they’re diverse and inclusive places. It’s a combination of reflecting societal changes, and also meeting the demands of their faculty and students, who today put greater value in their university being open and accepting places.

University diversity & inclusion survey questions:
How accepting is our university of individual differences amongst students?

  • Extremely accepting
  • Very accepting
  • Moderately accepting
  • Slightly accepting
  • Not accepting at all

To what extent are students of different genders valued equally by the university?

  • A great deal
  • A lot
  • A moderate amount
  • A little
  • Not at all

To what extent are students of different races valued equally by the university?

  • A great deal
  • A lot
  • A moderate amount
  • A little
  • Not at all

What can be done to improve feelings of inclusiveness at the university?

Seehow you can optimise the Campus Experience