Students' Experience of University Space: An Exploratory Study

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Cox, A.M. (2011)
  • Publisher: International Society for Exploring Teaching and Learning

The last decade has seen a wave of new building across British universities, so that it would appear that despite the virtualization discourses around higher education, space still matters in learning. Yet studies of student experience of the physical space of the university are rather lacking. This paper explores the response of one group of students to learning spaces, including virtual ones, preferences for the location of independent study, and feelings about departmental buildings. It explores how factors such as the scale of higher education and management efficiency tend to produce rather depersonalized and regimented environments that in turn are likely to produce surface engagement. Responses of hospitality, criticality, and solidarity are briefly explored.
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