Diversity amongst students’ non-academic experience of university

The landscape of universities is changing rapidly as the sector faces the challenge of annually attracting and retaining more than 500,000 students, many (if not all) of whom are rightly demanding a high quality, impactful, value-for-money education that will provide them with the skills and knowledge to compete in the job market. Currently students report diverse experiences at university, and the scrutiny under which universities will find themselves is set to increase with the introduction of the Teaching Excellent Framework and the new Office for Students. Research commissioned by Unite Students, providers of student accommodation to over 50,000 people, also shows that whilst most students (74%) find university a satisfying experience, for some particular groups it can be more challenging. Not only is there an attainment gap between white and BAME students, but  there is a greater likelihood of dissatisfaction, difficulties and even dropping out amongst these, and other students such as those who identify as LGBTQ+, those with disabilities, who live at home, and/or who are the first in their families to attend university. These findings were brought together in Everyone In, a report highlighting the diversity of non-academic student experiences. We were commissioned to do the writing, designing and production of the report.