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CUBO is committed to improving campus life through a research programme that includes the annual CUBO benchmarking surveys on accommodation, retail, conferencing and sport, as well as qualitative research such as our 2019 campus experience survey.  Members also have access to an online library of sector research reports.

2019 CUBO Campus Experience Survey

The first step in our ambitious plan to scope the “campus experience” and understand the importance of different campus elements and services in attracting and supporting students, as well as wider university missions. Heads of commercial services provided a self-assessment of their campus performance and data on investment in infrastructure and services.

Key findings:

  • Universities plan to invest hundreds of millions in campuses in the next five years.
  • 60% were very proud of their campuses, but less than 10% thought they worked well for the local community.
  • For every university the campus experience was vital to attracting new students, but those with multiple campuses were four times less likely to say they showcased themselves well.
  • Only 20% strongly agreed that their university was developing “smart campus technology”: 40% disagreed
  • Half of respondents said more than 80% of students were guaranteed their first preference of residence
  • The highest rated service was sport (average 7.54 out of 10), then residences (7.42), catering (6.86) and retail (5.86).
  • Campus design and how the campus is being used were less well rated.
Download the full survey 

2018 CUBO Benchmarking Survey

Our annual benchmarking collects data and analyses trends in commercial activity across accommodation, catering, retail and conferencing. Universities that participate receive the full aggregate data.

Key findings:

  • Total commercial income reported by the 29 member institutions was £594.1m in 2016-17, including rental income from residences and from catering activities. This equates to an average commercial income of £20.5m per institution.
  • The report shows accommodation representing around 75% of all income, with catering at 17% and conferencing at 8%. Total commercial income is up 3% on the previous year.
  • Conference income of £48.6m was reported by 25 members, equating to an average of £1.9m of revenue across the group.
  • The modal price for a catered standard room in 2017/18 was in the £140-£149 rent bracket, while the modal en-suite catered cost was £180-189 per week.
Download the full survey


Members online research library

College & University Business Officers
General Enquiries:
07958 599 947