We reached out to over 3000 students across 4 countries to understand what they want from campus events in 2021 and beyond.
Over 300 students from 106 universities shared their thoughts on blended learning last year, expectations from the new academic year, thoughts about campus events, and attitudes towards freshers’ fairs, hybrid events and everything in between.
San, Head of Product at ayda, shared our findings and what it mean for event teams at universities & student unions at the SU21 Digital Conference that had students’ unions from around the world
What students want in 3 numbers
Really keen on in-person events in 2021
Still anxious about in-person events
Want to participate even if they cannot attend the in-person event
Did you participate in virtual or online freshers' related events in 2020?
Over 75% of students were aware of their university’s virtual/ online Freshers' related events - many of them improvisations on Zoom, Teams or another platform. And 70% of first years participated in the virtual/online freshers'.
What did you like about virtual or online freshers' related events in 2020?
~60% students liked everything being in one place – soc, clubs, deals & more. First years valued the ability to easily find things that align with their interest.
What do you want from campus events in 2021?
In 2021, everyone (about 85%) wants the return of in-person events. Student deals & discounts are lower priority for prospective students & first years!
Are students looking forward to freshers' this year?
Unsurprisingly, over 80% of prospective students & first year students who missed out on in-person events last year look forward to Freshers’ & other campus events in 2021. The big surprise. 50%+ even in other years (those not starting this year or first years) look forward to Freshers’ 2021.
Do you have any anxieties about attending an in-person event?
57% of prospective students & first years are anxious about in-person events. Overall, about 50% are apprehensive about risk of on-campus events
Would you want a digital/ online platform alongside the in-person event?
60% of prospective students & first years would like to see the event go hybrid - have some sort of an online platform alongside the in-person event. 50%+ students overall would prefer a hybrid event over just an in-person one.
Why do you want a digital/ online platform alongside the in-person event?
45%+ students want the hybrid option so that they can participate even if they are unable to attend the in-person event. ~27% prospective students & first years would like to plan in advance to get the best out of the in-person event.