With May exams just around the corner, and the drive towards hitting those offer targets heating up, it’s always a good idea to check the pulse of the Student Panel to see what’s really on students’ minds. For March’s trending topics, we asked the group about the diversity policies of accommodation providers, the future of Open Days, and their sentiment around being a part of a generation up against a whole lot of challenges. These insights can be used to direct you to opportunities where you can better connect with your audience, and work to solve the challenges they’re facing. 


#1: Students want accommodation providers to ensure diversity policies are made clear and accessible.

Around a third of BAME students told us that when in shared accommodation, they feel uncomfortable about at least one of the following:

  • Cooking their culture's food
  • Speaking about racial/colonial politics
  • Speaking about their experiences of racism
  • Practising their religion

...We asked the Student Panel “what could your university do to give you a sense of belonging in your accommodation?”

7 in 10 students want accommodation providers to ensure diversity policies are made clear and accessible, and 6 in 10 want all students to be taught about unconscious bias.

“There are cultural differences that I think you always have to think about when your family comes to visit; telling your friends that they can't talk about you drinking or having a boyfriend and just things that seem normal to them but wouldn't be accepted in your culture”

As we know from our 2020 report Black Lives Matter, students are keen to emphasise the difference between diversity and inclusion… you may have a diverse student body, but has your institution fostered an environment of real inclusion? 


#2: 8 in 10 students would prefer their university Open Day to be in-person rather than online.

Students have until 9 June 2022 to make a decision on their firm and insurance choice if all their universities responded by the 20 May deadline.

Over half of students told us that being invited to a tour of the campus, an Open Day or a visit to their potential accommodation would help them make a decision on their firm/insurance choice. And, when we asked prospective students which format they would prefer these events in:

➔ 84% want their Open Day to be in person

➔ 81% want their campus tour to be in person

➔ 76% want their accommodation visit to be in person

When it comes to student and staff Q&As, the responses were more mixed, with around 60% preferring these to be online and 30% preferring in person.

How do these answers match up to the plan you currently have for the Open Day season? 


#3: Students are optimistic about their generation being better educated than their parents’ generation, but pessimistic about their financial future and the environment.

71% of students told us they are at least somewhat optimistic about the future. The data tells us that the more confident students are, the more optimistic about the future they are likely to be.

Digging a little deeper, students said the best part of being a young person today include:

  • “Our generation is more open and we have opportunities that previous generations didn't, especially women.”
  • “Technology! Easy communication and connection across the world.”

Universities and institutions can harness this optimism for the future by showcasing the values that they stand for and how they align with what students care about and are passionate about. Take a look at the project we worked on with US Institution NYU Silver, in which the aim was to unite, inspire and engage. Exploring the activist roots of the school, by using powerful and emotive language to rouse action. How could your brand adopt this approach too? 


Remember you can access these insights for free through Akero. If you’d like even more student insights, register for a log-in today

Article by

Eleana Davidson Native Author

Eleana Davidson

Content Manager