From versatile learning spaces to home comforts, we identify six campus design trends that are must-haves for today's students.

Does your campus have the spaces people need to get their work done? When considering higher education fit-out and refurbishment, this question needs to be addressed in terms of both students and staff.

Attracting and retaining the best employees and top students means investing in the spaces they'll be using every day. There are several key trends influencing higher education design to meet the changing needs of both staff and students alike.

Modern, flexible spaces

Modern, flexible spaces remain a prerequisite for higher education today. While some people thrive in bustling, open-plan environments, others prefer quiet spaces to focus and be productive. Universities like the University of the Arts London (UAL) have embraced modernity by refurbishing their campuses with sleek concrete aesthetics and collaborative furniture, creating flexible spaces that accommodate diverse working styles. Similarly, the LSE Life library features sound-absorbing work/study pods to provide staff and students with versatile spaces that cater to their specific needs.

University of the Arts London fit out

Homely features

There has been a big move in providing a home-from-home experience for students, to help them transition to university life and aid positive mental wellbeing. King's College London includes home comforts of soft furnishings and casual spaces in its Strand campus project.

Kings College London fit out

Sustainable education spaces

Our research revealed there is an increasing demand from students for sustainable educational spaces with minimal environmental impact. The majority of students surveyed have an interest in the environmental credentials of the university they attend, making credentials like SKA for Higher Education (SKA HE) all the more relevant in today’s HE spaces. University College London achieved the first SKA HE gold accreditation with the help of Overbury and Rider Levett Bucknall.

Breakout space in higher education fit out

Specialist spaces

Enabling students to work individually and collaboratively is key. University of Warwick’s School of Engineering features high-spec laboratories for students, with additional social spaces.

Creating such spaces may seem daunting, but a refurb may be the answer and quicker than you might think. Northumbria University, for example, refreshed its library in just seven weeks, while maintaining access throughout the fit-out.

Specialist lab fit out Overbury