1 DESIGN WITH DISTINCTION THE VALUE OF GOOD BUILDING DESIGN IN HIGHER EDUCATION
2 2 DESIGN WITH DISTINCTION CABE is the Commission for Architecture and the Built Environment, the Government s champion for design quality in the built environment. It is funded by both the Department for Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) and the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister (ODPM). Its board members are appointed by the Secretary of State. CABE will shortly be established as a statutory body but in the meantime has been incorporated as a company limited by guarantee. Published March ISBN The Tower Building 11 York Road London SE1 7NX T F E W
3 THE VALUE OF DESIGN IN HIGHER EDUCATION 3 Measuring the impact of architecture and design on the performance of higher education institutions.
4 4 DESIGN WITH DISTINCTION In Memory This study is dedicated to the memory of Richard Feilden in recognition of his contribution to community architecture, environmental awareness and passion for achieving better buildings. Richard was a member of the steering group responsible for this report, but was tragically killed a few weeks before the research study was completed. RICHARD FEILDEN OBE ( ) He was the founding partner of Feilden Clegg Bradley Architects of London and Bath. He won Building Design magazine s Architect of the Year Award in 2004; sat on the RIBA Council for a number of years; was the driving force behind the establishment of the Higher Education Design Quality Forum, and a founding commissioner of CABE. Richard lobbied tirelessly for better standards of contemporary design and showed great empathy for the needs of the building users. He was particularly concerned that PFI funding of educational projects was undermining the quality of school design. He gave his time generously to debate such issues in many public meetings across the country, and was a great ambassador for the architectural profession. Richard touched so many lives. We have lost a good friend, the community has lost one of its noble champions, and the RIBA has lost perhaps the best president it never had. His influence will not be forgotten, however, and his spirit lives on.
5 THE VALUE OF GOOD BUILDING DESIGN IN HIGHER EDUCATION 5 EXECUTIVE SUMMARY 7 Methodology 7 Summary of findings 7 Implications of the research 9 I CASE STUDY PROFILES 10 II INTRODUCTION 16 Terms of reference 16 Structure of report 17 III METHODOLOGY 18 Selection of case study buildings 18 Overview of methodology 18 Literature Review 18 Qualitative research 19 Quantitative research 19 Profile of survey respondents 19 IV RECRUITMENT 21 Overview of existing literature 21 Overall influence of buildings upon recruitment 23 Influence of buildings upon recruitment of staff 26 Impact of buildings upon recruitment of students 27 Aspects of design that influence recruitment 27 V RETENTION 30 Overview of existing literature 30 Overall satisfaction with choice of university and design of the buildings 31 Design aspects that influence the feelings and behaviour of staff & students 33 General views on being in the buildings 36 VI PERFORMANCE 38 Overview of existing literature 38 Impact of buildings upon performance 39 Aspects of design that influence performance 42 VII CONCLUSIONS 44 Summary of key findings 48 Implications of the research 48 BIBLIOGRAPHY 49
6 6 DESIGN WITH DISTINCTION PORTLAND BUILDING, UNIVERSITY OF PORTSMOUTH
7 THE VALUE OF GOOD BUILDING DESIGN IN HIGHER EDUCATION 7 Executive Summary Over recent years, there has been a marked increase in the number of new building projects in the higher education sector, and in the complexity and importance of estates provision and management for such schemes. However, despite this, there appears to be a distinct lack of value of design research carried out in this area. Work in the past on measuring the impact of architecture and design on the performance of organisations occupying buildings has examined all manner of sectors: health, children s education, offices retail and house-building. Higher education, though, has been neglected. Until now. In July 2003, CABE commissioned a research study aimed at assessing the value of design in higher education. This study was funded jointly by the UK HE funding councils (HEFCE, SHEFC, HEFCW and DELNI) and supported by the Association of Directors of Estates (AUDE). The research was designed and data collected by the University of the West of England (UWE), while PricewaterhouseCoopers conducted subsequent analysis and reporting. Its aim was to assess whether links exist between new, well-designed buildings and the recruitment and retention of students, staff and quality of teaching, research and other outcomes. METHODOLOGY The study involved three main strands of research: Literature review of more than 50 research articles, identifying key themes and related issues covering a wide range of qualitative and quantitative studies on the impact of design on the recruitment and retention of students and staff Qualitative interviews and focus groups with students and staff in four higher education buildings in England and one in Wales Surveys with staff and students in the five higher education buildings, collecting primary data on a range of features of the building design The case study buildings were selected in collaboration with CABE and were deemed examples of good higher education design. the existence of welldesigned buildings on a campus is a significant factor in the recruitment of staff and of students SUMMARY OF FINDINGS RECRUITMENT The research findings suggest that the existence of well-designed buildings on a campus is a significant factor in the recruitment of staff and of students. Approximately 60 per cent of students and staff indicated that the quality of the building design had a positive impact on their decision to study or work at their chosen university Among staff, the quality of the buildings had the most positive impact on the recruitment of academic staff (65 per cent). Among students, the most positive impact was on the recruitment of postgraduate students (72 per cent) When asked to identify specific features of buildings that would most influence their decision to work in a particular institution, just over half of all staff identified cosmetic and environmental features as being most influential. These included cleanliness, a feeling of space and bright working areas. Most students identified structural/ functional features, including the quality of the facilities, the library, sports centre, atriums and lecture rooms
8 8 DESIGN WITH DISTINCTION Only a very small number of either staff or students (around 10 per cent) pinpointed situational features (i.e. where the building was located) as being influential in their decision to take up work or study at their institution. RETENTION The research suggests that the way people feel and behave while studying or working within buildings is linked to their overall satisfaction rates and level of happiness. This will clearly have an impact upon retention rates. the way people feel and behave while studying or working within buildings is linked to their overall satisfaction rates and level of happiness The functions and facilities of buildings had the most positive impact upon how the staff and students feel and behave whilst they are working or studying (more than 7 out of 10 students and staff). Staff also indicated that their office and workspace, and the size, proportion and openness of the building they worked in were positive contributing factors to the way they feel and behave The majority of staff and students (more than 60 per cent) agreed that the cosmetic and environmental features that impact most upon the way they feel and behave were the decoration, furnishings and furniture within the buildings Staff and students in the focus groups identified some negative influences on their feelings and behaviour associated with cosmetic and environmental factors. These included problems with the heating and ventilation, as well as acoustics and noise A majority of staff (more than 60 per cent) indicated that the external views and surroundings also played a significant part in the way they feel and behave whilst at work. However, students did not share this view Overall, most staff identified situational features, such as the external views and surroundings as having the most positive impact on how they feel and behave whilst at work, whereas most students identified structural/functional features, such as teaching rooms, on the location of stairs. PERFORMANCE The majority of staff (80 per cent) was of the opinion that the buildings they worked in impacted positively upon their performance. However, this was only the case for half of the students we surveyed. The research showed that the buildings had the most positive impact upon the performance of research students (83 per cent) and the least impact upon the performance of undergraduate students (51 per cent) In general, students indicated that the features of the buildings they studied in affected their performance in three main ways: - helping to motivate students in their work - facilitating inspiration amongst students - providing key facilities critical to the course content Staff indicated that academic factors associated with their job and facilities they had access to have an equal impact upon their performance. These factors included interest in the type of work and the quality of their office and support facilities Students indicated that the facilities within their institution impacted most upon their performance. These included the teaching, campus and research facilities Staff and students also stated that particular social features influenced their performance, including the locality of the university and the level of inclusion and participation they enjoyed.
9 THE VALUE OF GOOD BUILDING DESIGN IN HIGHER EDUCATION 9 IMPLICATIONS OF THE RESEARCH This research breaks new ground by providing evidence on the links between building design and recruitment, retention and performance of staff and students in the higher education sector. good quality higher education requires good quality environments It provides evidence to support the belief that good quality higher education requires good quality environments. It also reinforces the need for further capital investment to modernise and upgrade buildings and equipment. However, whilst the findings of the research provide useful insights, there are a number of areas which would benefit from additional research, including: The measurement of the design quality in higher education buildings An assessment of the impact of building design upon the local community A wider sample of institutions to include those not deemed to display good design quality An examination into the negative impact which can result from design inadequacy The relationship between good design on campus and the award of research grants.
10 10 DESIGN WITH DISTINCTION DESIGN WITH DISTINCTION CASE STUDY PROFILES UNIVERSITY OF SUNDERLAND David Goldman Informatics Centre UNIVERSITY OF NOTTINGHAM Jubilee Campus UNIVERSITY OF PORTSMOUTH Portland Building UNIVERSITY OF WALES, BANGOR Adeilad Brigantia Building UNIVERSITY OF GLOUCESTERSHIRE Oxstalls Campus
11 THE VALUE OF GOOD BUILDING DESIGN IN HIGHER EDUCATION 11 UNIVERSITY OF SUNDERLAND David Goldman Informatics Centre School of Computing and Technology St Peter s Campus 01 ARCHITECT: BDP OPENED: PHASE , PHASE AREA: 8,000M 2 USAGE: SCHOOL OF COMPUTING AWARDS: SUNDAY TIMES/ RFAC BUILDING OF THE YEAR 1995, CIVIC TRUST AWARD 1998 DESIGN PROFILE The David Goldman Informatics Centre is the most radical building on the innovative St Peter s Campus. The multi-level ground floor and balconied first floor areas are enclosed with a vast vaulted space reminiscent of a cathedral. The main computer teaching is carried on in open terraces on the ground floor, divided into pens. Bridges link the upper balconies and the upper floor teaching rooms seem to hang over the central space. Staff offices are located on the perimeter of the building and comprise a mix of conventional offices often shared by three members of staff and pods, which are clusters of offices off a central social space. The building was designed on ecological principles, as reflected in the external cladding and the heating/ventilation system. BUILDING OBJECTIVE To improve undergraduate and postgraduate recruitment by counteracting the negative image of Sunderland. IMAGES: UNIVERSITY OF SUNDERLAND
12 12 DESIGN WITH DISTINCTION UNIVERSITY OF NOTTINGHAM Jubilee Campus School of Education 02 DESIGN PROFILE The Jubilee Campus was designed as a single entity with a wall of educational buildings facing onto a lake, away from the adjacent industrial buildings, and with the residential halls sitting behind. The conical library building provides a central focus. Sustainability is the very visible theme of the campus, influencing the overall design, with its prominent ventilation towers and the materials used, both inside and out. The individual educational buildings are of a standardised design and are linked by glazed atria that house central functions, such as the refectory. BUILDING OBJECTIVE To establish the new campus as a credible and desirable alternative to University Park and to give three key departments room to expand. ARCHITECT: MICHAEL HOPKINS & PARTNERS OPENED: 1999 AREA: 6,481M 2 USAGE: SCHOOL OF BUSINESS, COMPUTING AND EDUCATION AWARDS: ROYAL INSTITUTE OF BRITISH ARCHITECTS RIBA AWARD FOR ARCHITECTURE 2001 IMAGES: UNIVERSITY OF NOTTINGHAM
13 THE VALUE OF GOOD BUILDING DESIGN IN HIGHER EDUCATION 13 UNIVERSITY OF PORTSMOUTH Portland Building School of the Environment 03 ARCHITECT: SIR COLIN STANSFIELD-SMITH OPENED: 1996 AREA: 6,200M 2 USAGE: FACULTY OF THE ENVIRONMENT AWARDS: CIVIC TRUST AWARD 1997, PORTSMOUTH SOCIETY BEST NEW BUILDING 1997 DESIGN PROFILE The Portland building was opened in 1996 and houses the School of Architecture and the Built Environment. The University increasingly uses it as a conference centre. The three-storey building is designed around a central atrium or forum that provides direct access to the refectory, main lecture theatre and the learning resource centre. Sustainability was used as the key design principle and manifested itself in the form of the heating, cooling and ventilation system. The service towers are a prominent feature of the design, while the building as a whole was designed to be the centrepiece of a new campus development that in turn was a catalyst for the regeneration of one of the poorest parts of Portsmouth. IMAGES: UNIVERSITY OF PORTSMOUTH BUILDING OBJECTIVE To improve undergraduate recruitment by counteracting the negative impressions of Portsmouth, and to act as the catalyst for the development of a new campus.
14 14 DESIGN WITH DISTINCTION UNIVERSITY OF WALES, BANGOR Adeilad Brigantia Building Department of Psychology 04 DESIGN PROFILE The building is planned around the research needs of the staff, with individual cellular offices and small break-out spaces for research groups to interact informally. The reception and central circulation spaces are generous, though undergraduate teaching is not catered for in the first phase of the building. The building takes advantage of its elevated position to dominate the campus and its white elevations and sharp lines emphasise its contemporary credentials. The interior, meanwhile, capitalises on external views across the town. The upper corridors are naturally-lit by high-level roof lights. BUILDING OBJECTIVE To attract international-quality academic staff to improve the research performance of the school to the highest levels and thereby to attract better quality students. ARCHITECT: NICHOLAS HARE ARCHITECTS OPENED: 2000 AREA: 2,200M 2 USAGE: DEPARTMENT OF PSYCHOLOGY IMAGES: UNIVERSITY OF WALES, BANGOR
15 THE VALUE OF GOOD BUILDING DESIGN IN HIGHER EDUCATION 15 UNIVERSITY OF GLOUCESTERSHIRE Oxstalls Campus School of Sports Science 05 ARCHITECT: FEILDEN CLEGG BRADLEY ARCHITECTS OPENED: 2001 AREA: 2771M 2 USAGE: SCHOOL OF SPORTS SCIENCE AWARDS: THE CIVIC TRUST S SUSTAINABILITY AWARD 2003, THE ROYAL INSTITUTE OF BRITISH ARCHITECTS AWARD FOR OUTSTANDING ARCHITECTURE 2003 DESIGN PROFILE The Oxstalls Campus was designed as an integrated educational unit with the School of Sports Science, a Learning Resource Centre (LRC), refectory and students residences and an incomplete facility that would need to be integrated with the city s sports facilities to work effectively. The design is light and open, using high levels of glazing to bring natural light into the building, and light timber finishes. A lofty, glazed corridor links the teaching areas to the LRC and provides an attractive entrance and design feature. The use of water unifies the two parts of the building externally. Sustainability features in the design in the form of solar panels. The LRC is the social hub of the building and has been designed not just for quiet study but also for team learning and interaction. BUILDING OBJECTIVE To establish a credible, high quality presence in Gloucester and the poorer west of the county to counteract the university s perceived bias towards Cheltenham. IMAGES: UNIVERSITY OF GLOUCESTERSHIRE
16 16 DESIGN WITH DISTINCTION Introduction In January 2003, the UK Government published a White Paper called The Future of Higher Education which identified the stresses under which higher education in the UK is operating 1. One pressing issue it highlighted was the need to maintain the infrastructure for research and teaching. The report found an estimated 8 billion backlog in teaching and research facilities. An earlier study focused in particular on the infrastructure within higher education buildings 2. The 2002 report, Investment in Infrastructure for Teaching and Learning in Higher Education, suggested several billion pounds of investment was needed to repair, replace and modernise the buildings, services, IT networks and libraries of UK higher education buildings. It also highlighted that many post-war buildings used throughout the UK s universities were reaching the end of their design life and stressed that the university sector was experiencing a climate of chronic under-funding. The report noted, too, that it is in this environment that there has been a rapid growth in the size of the student population, the introduction of new subjects and changes in pedagogic methods. However, not all of these developments have been matched by an equivalent expansion in higher education estates. What is of concern to all universities is ensuring that our students, whatever their background, have a high quality experience. That requires university teaching to be informed by research, provided by high quality and motivated staff, in buildings fit for purpose and using modern equipment. (DIANA WARWICK, 2003: CHIEF EXECUTIVE OF UNIVERSITIES UK) Tony Blair stressed the need for architects to consider more than cost and pure function when reviewing the quality of designs Furthermore. in the foreword to a report by the Department of Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) entitled Better Public Buildings, Tony Blair stressed the need for architects to consider more than cost and pure function when reviewing the quality of designs (Department of Culture, Media and Sport, October 2000). According to Jon Rouse, the then Chief Executive of CABE, there is a growing danger, in the midst of modern procurement processes, that the delight factor in architecture is being suffocated by measurement methods that favour only tangible impacts. TERMS OF REFERENCE Despite the number of new building projects in the higher education sector over the last number of years, and the complexity and importance of estates provision and management within this sector, there appears to be a distinct absence of Value of Design studies in this area. The work that has been done to measure the impact of architecture and design on the performance of organisations occupying buildings has examined sectors such as health, children s education, offices, retail and house-building. To fill this gap, in July 2003, CABE, in partnership with the UK Higher Education Funding Councils the funding bodies for the research and the Association of University Directors of Estates (AUDE), commissioned a research study. The subject material was the impact of design standards in recently completed higher education buildings on the recruitment, retention and performance of staff and students. It is anticipated that partners in the higher education sector will use the research to promote higher standards of building design. The research was designed and data collected by the University of Western England (UWE). Subsequent analysis and reporting was conducted by PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC). 1 Department for Education and Skills, The Future of Higher Education (2003), Norwich: HMSO 2 Investment in Infrastructure for Teaching and Learning in Higher Education. Universities UK, SCOP and HEFCE (2002)
17 THE VALUE OF GOOD BUILDING DESIGN IN HIGHER EDUCATION 17 FIGURE OVERALL AIMS OF STUDY A SUMMARY OF THE MAIN DIMENSIONS AND FEATURES OF THE RESEARCH. OVERALL AIM OF STUDY: To assess whether links exist between new, well-designed buildings and the recruitment, retention and performance of students and staff ASPECTS OF THE USER GROUP FEATURES OF THE RESEARCH STAFF WITH EXPERIENCE OF DIFFERENT USAGE OF BUILDINGS STAFF AT DIFFERENT STAGES OF THEIR CAREER MATURE AND YOUNGER STUDENTS; AND POSTGRADUATE, UNDERGRADUATE AND RESEARCH STUDENTS. QUALITY, IMPACT AND FUNCTION OF BUILDINGS SITUATIONAL, STRUCTURAL AND COSMETIC AND ENVIRONMENTAL FEATURES OF BUILDINGS. The overall aim of the study was to assess whether links exist between new, well-designed buildings and the recruitment and retention of students, staff and quality of teaching, research and other outcomes. In addressing the aim of the study, a number of key research questions were posed, namely: In what ways do buildings influence the recruitment, retention and performance of students and staff in the higher education sector? What features of buildings influence recruitment, morale and retention and performance of staff and students? Are staff and students satisfied with the quality and functionality of their buildings and associated facilities, and do they equate good quality with better performance? Are there variations in the views of respondents within and between staff and student groups, and between higher education sites? What quality improvements could be made to improve the performance of staff and students? STRUCTURE OF REPORT This report outlines the main findings of the study. Its structure is as follows: Section II Methodology Section III Recruitment Section IV Retention Section V Performance Section VI Conclusions.
18 18 DESIGN WITH DISTINCTION Methodology FIGURE 2.1: OVERVIEW OF METHODOLOGY AN OVERVIEW OF OUR APPROACH This section provides an overview of the methodology used in the study. The research involved three main strands of work: a literature review, a quantitative survey with staff and students, and a qualitative strand comprising focus groups with students and interviews with staff. The qualitative and quantitative fieldwork was conducted across five case study sites. Whilst the findings provide useful insights into the experiences of two of the most important stakeholders - staff and students - the research does not attempt to measure the quality of the design. QUALITATIVE RESEARCH LITERATURE REVIEW RESEARCH DESIGN ANALYSIS & REPORTING QUANTITATIVE RESEARCH SELECTION OF CASE STUDY INSTITUTIONS The selection of the case study buildings was made in collaboration with the project Steering Group. While the buildings selected were deemed examples of good design, a number of additional selection criteria were used in the selection process: The inclusion of buildings that were reasonably contemporary (a cut-off date of 1996 was applied) The inclusion of buildings that had been long enough in occupation to establish some pattern of usage Ensuring that good design was reinforced by some external indicator of merit related to an award LITERATURE REVIEW A general review of the literature was conducted in relation to the design of educational environments 3. Over 50 articles and journals were reviewed and a bibliography is attached to the report. The literature review had three dimensions: To define the strategic context within which the study is placed To identify key themes and related issues To identify areas of good practice. Ensuring that the diversity of the higher education sector, in terms of building and institution type, was reflected. The sample included campus locations and inner-city locations, as well as different types of departments and university. JUBILEE CAMPUS, UNIVERSITY OF NOTTINGHAM
19 THE VALUE OF GOOD BUILDING DESIGN IN HIGHER EDUCATION 19 QUALITATIVE RESEARCH A range of qualitative evidence was collected across the five case study institutions. Table 2.1 provides a summary of the types and nature of data collected. QUANTITATIVE RESEARCH During the visits to each of the five case study sites, questionnaires were administered to staff (academic, research and administration) and students (undergraduate, postgraduate and research). A total of 150 staff and 500 students were targeted across the buildings (30 staff and 100 students in each institution). PROFILE OF SURVEY RESPONDENTS A total of 103 members of staff (69% response rate) and 287 students (57% response rate) took part in the research across the five buildings. Statistical analysis was performed primarily at two levels: Descriptive analysis of individual responses to survey questions Cross-tabulations between the background characteristics of each institution and the importance of individual factors on staff and student recruitment, retention and performance. TABLE 2.1: OVERVIEW OF QUALITATIVE EVIDENCE COLLECTED DETAILS Key informant interviews Focus groups Observations Photographs and images Interviews with key members of HE staff including lecturers, tutors, head of faculty/school, pro vice chancellors, state managers etc. Held with undergraduate, postgraduate and research students Research team spent time in each building noting interactions that were taking place On completion of focus groups the research team was asked to take photographs of those aspects of the building which appealed most to its members. Plans of the building were also examined Table 2.2 provides an overview of the content of the respective questionnaires. They were administered by post to all institutions. TABLE 2.2: OVERVIEW OF QUALITATIVE EVIDENCE COLLECTED QUESTIONNAIRE Staff SURVEY TOPIC Profile information on the background of the respondent Reasons for choosing employment in the university Impact of building on respondents choice of employment Impact of building on current satisfaction and performance Quality improvements to building Student Profile information on the background of the respondent Reasons for choosing to study at the university Impact of building on respondents decision to choose to study at the university Impact of building on current satisfaction and performance Quality improvements to building 3 It should be noted that, whilst most of the literature in this area relates to school buildings, specific efforts were made to obtain and review literature that focused upon higher education.
20 20 DESIGN WITH DISTINCTION Tables 2.3 and 2.4 provide profiles of the staff and student respondents in terms of their background characteristics at each of the buildings. TABLE 2.3: PROFILE OF STAFF RESPONDENTS PROFILING CHARACTERISTICS HE 01 HE 02 HE 03 HE 04 HE 05 ALL HE GENDER Male 58% 61% 40% 42% 27% 48% Female 42% 39% 60% 58% 73% 52% AGE Under % 5% 0% 25% 8% 16% % 64% 55% 58% 42% 57% 50+ 9% 31% 45% 17% 50% 27% EMPLOYMENT Full-time 96% 89% 82% 96% 92% 92% Part-time 4% 11% 18% 4% 8% 8% EMPLOYMENT TYPE Academic 48% 78% 52% 52% 50% 57% Research 26% 0% 11% 9% 0% 10% Administration 26% 22% 37% 39% 50% 33% YEAR IN INSTITUTION % 4% 16% 39% 8% 27% % 35% 21% 17% 0% 24% 5+ 8% 61% 63% 44% 92% 49% Number of respondents TABLE 2.4: PROFILE OF STUDENT RESPONDENTS PROFILING CHARACTERISTICS HE 01 HE 02 HE 03 HE 04 HE 05 ALL HE GENDER Male 31% 79% 38% 63% 69% 58% Female 69% 21% 62% 37% 31% 42% AGE Under % 49% 0% 40% 43% 42% % 42% 73% 47% 53% 47% 50+ 7% 9% 27% 13% 4% 11% EMPLOYMENT Full-time 100% 100% 97% 93% 100% 98% Part-time 0% 0% 3% 7% 0% 2% EMPLOYMENT TYPE Academic 96% 66% 0% 93% 81% 72% Research 4% 33% 85% 6% 19% 25% Administration 0% 1% 15% 1% 0% 3% Number of respondents
21 THE VALUE OF GOOD BUILDING DESIGN IN HIGHER EDUCATION 21 Recruitment This section provides a summary of current international literature on the impact of building design on recruitment. It also presents the main findings of the issues surrounding the recruitment of both staff and students, taken from the quantitative surveys with staff and students, together with the qualitative focus groups with students, and the interviews with staff. OVERVIEW OF EXISTING LITERATURE According to the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD), recruitment difficulties in general will continue in the first quarter of 2005, as overall levels of employment continue to rise (Personneltoday.com, 2005). Speaking in the House of Lords, Diana Warwick, Chief Executive of Universities UK, stated that there are growing problems recruiting and retaining staff in UK universities. Furthermore, research by Universities UK and its employers organisation (UKEA) showed that one-fifth of all universities and higher education institutions were experiencing recruitment difficulties (Universities UK, ). Recruitment of students is also an important issue for higher education institutions worldwide. For example, it has been stated that global competition between universities to attract international students is getting fiercer, with big money at stake (Mike Baker, BBC News, ). And, according to a report by the British Council, the number of overseas students wanting to attend UK universities could triple to more than 870,000 by Whilst this could be worth 13bn to the UK economy, the British Council has warned of competition from abroad, including the US (BBC News, ). According to Smith (1998), the primary goal of recruitment programmes and activities is to influence the behaviour of prospective students, their parents and significant others in the college admission process. Commenting on the importance of campus image in American universities, Coffey and Wood-Steed (2001) state that there has been a move to design, add to, or renovate traditional student centres in order to appeal to their consumers. the number of overseas students wanting to attend UK universities could triple to more than 870,000 by Whilst this could be worth 13bn to the UK economy, the British Council has warned of competition from abroad, including the US While UK universities have become increasingly concerned to maximise research income in the past decade, conventional, government- and student-funded undergraduate teaching remains a significant, and for many institutions still a dominant, proportion of income (Price et al, 2003). For this reason, it is crucial for universities to recruit students successfully. Furthermore, a study commissioned by the HEFCE, SCOP, UCEA and UUK in 2001 found that universities throughout the UK were facing difficulties recruiting staff 4. It discovered that pay is the major underlying factor in the difficulties facing universities. The majority of research on recruitment has focused on students, rather than staff choices. For that reason, the following discussion is confined to students. It appears from the literature that building design does not tend to be the prime factor of influence when choosing a university. But it is a significant variable. Research undertaken by the Institute of Employment Studies (Price et al, 2003) included 20,000 students who applied to full-time undergraduate courses in universities throughout the UK in They found that the course content was the most important factor influencing the university chosen. Additionally, students stated that cost was a significant factor in their choice of university location. Whilst they were often forced 4 Recruitment and Retention of Staff in UK Higher Education, 2001