Over ten years’ worth of Global Student Living Index (GSL Index) data highlights that first impressions count when it comes to student accommodation. The moving-in experience plays a critical role in student retention and satisfaction of both home and international students. Those who have a negative moving-in experience are much more likely to become a Net Promoter Score (NPS) Detractor.

Encouragingly, data from the Autumn (2023 Q4) wave of the Global Student Living Index shows improvements in student satisfaction across all aspects of the moving-in experience for both university and private halls in the UK & Ireland (Table 1):

  • Arrival instructions – are rated higher this Autumn, with 79% of students rating arrival instructions as good or very good compared to 77% of students last year.  There is no difference between university and private halls, with satisfaction of students in both university and private halls at 79%.
  • Cleanliness ratings have also improved overall, with 72% of students rating cleanliness as good or very good, compared to 70% last Autumn. Students in university halls are more satisfied with cleanliness than those in private halls (75% vs 71%), although private hall satisfaction with cleanliness has increased by 2% since last Autumn.
  • Ease of finding accommodation is also up, with 85% of students rating this as good or very good compared to 84% last year, with students in private halls more satisfied than those in university halls (85% vs 83%).
  • Online Induction satisfaction has increased from 73% last Autumn to 75% this year, with private hall satisfaction higher than university halls (76% vs 73%).
  • Parking continues to be the most poorly rated aspect of accommodation with no improvement in satisfaction from last Autumn – 53% of students as good or very good both this year and last. Students at university halls are more satisfied than those in private halls (55% vs 52%), although university hall satisfaction with parking has dropped by 6% from last Autumn.  
  • Staff welcome has also improved –from 83% last Autumn to 85% this year, with students in private halls slightly more satisfied than those in university halls (85% vs 83%).
  • Welcome from other students has improved slightly with 70% of students rating this as good or very good this year, compared to 69% last Autumn. Interesting, while students perceive the welcome from staff in private halls to be warmer, the reverse is true when it comes to welcome from other students, with students in university halls more satisfied than those in private halls (73% vs 69%).

Table 1: Moving In Experience – University vs Private Halls Performance (% who rate good or very good)

 Uni Halls
2022 Q4
Uni Halls
2023 Q4
%
Change
Private Halls
2022 Q4
Private Halls
2023 Q4
%
Change
Arrival instructions75%79%+4%78%79%+1%
Cleanliness74%75%+1%69%71%+2%
Ease of finding accommodation82%83%+1%84%85%+1%
Online induction70%73%+3%74%76%+2%
Parking61%55%-6%51%52%+1%
Staff welcome81%83%+2%83%85%+2%
Welcome from other students73%73%68%69%+1%

Data from the Autumn or ‘entry’ wave of the GSL Index survey is used to calculate the Best Booking Experience and Best Moving In Experience categories in the Global Student Living Awards for the UK & Ireland and Europe. Feedback gathered in the upcoming Spring/’exit’ wave will determine the Finalists and Winners of all other award categories. Winners of all awards will be announced at an awards ceremony on 17th October in London.

Finalists for the Best Booking Experience and Best Moving In Experience categories for 2024 have now been announced.

To get involved in the GSL Index, go to the GSL website: https://gsl.news/index/ to register.