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New report shows that four-fifths of universities are looking to improve facilities following the rise in tuition fees

Posted on 4th April 2012

Nearly 80 per cent of universities across the UK are planning to spend more than £5 million on construction projects next year, according to a new report. 

Building company Wates has found that higher education institutions are looking to improve the standard of the accommodation they offer to students following the sharp rise in tuition fees. 

Two-thirds of universities plan to improve facilities for postgraduate and overseas students - a lucrative market as foreign students pay significantly higher tuition fees than their domestic counterparts. 

Furthermore, a third are considering large plans, such as forming partnerships to set up a science park or a hotel on campus. 

Ian Vickers of Wates claimed that students now expect "quality" living accommodation to reflect the increased amount they are required to pay. 

He said: "In order to remain competitive, universities are therefore looking to deliver modern facilities that have the 'wow' factor while also encouraging more efficient and collaborative use of space." 

It follows the news that the UK construction sector expanded at its fastest rate in nearly two years in March.