In December 2019, we implemented an image survey, where we reviewed the image the students primarily living in Oulu have of PSOAS and our different residential areas as well as their criteria of choosing an apartment. In total, 472 people took the survey, 68% of whom were Finns and 32% foreigners. A little more than a half of the participants were female and a little less than half male.

Cost and location

The respondents mainly felt that the price-quality ratio of PSOAS was good and were usually satisfied with the apartment locations. The price level was considered inexpensive or appropriate by 96% of the respondents. With regard to location, only about 5% of the participants felt that the locations of our buildings did not meet their current requirements. Linnanmaa and the city centre were considered as the most attractive areas, both by the Finnish and foreign students. Alppila was the number three in the responses by Finns, where as foreign students considered Syynimaa, the area in the campus’ immediate vicinity, the third most attractive living area.

Communications

The participants felt that PSOAS’ communications were fairly successful: on a scale from 1 to 5, it received a grade of nearly 4, and more than 60% of the respondents gave it a grade of 4 or 5. The survey also had questions concerning our social responsibility and values. “I don’t know” answers were quite common with regard to these questions, which is a sign that we will need to highlight these matters even more in our communications in the future and explain what we are doing to promote them.

Amenities and equipment

When choosing an apartment, the price and location have traditionally been the top criteria for students. With this background in mind, the survey focused on trying to find out how important the different apartment amenities and equipment are to students. Somewhat surprisingly, the most important factor of all the ten items listed were venetian blinds. Spots reserved for a washing machine and a dishwasher as well as the apartment’s floor material were also considered important aspects. Respectively, an apartment sauna or balcony, or the apartment’s floor number were not very high on the tenants’ list of selection criteria. The biggest differences between Finnish and foreign respondents were between their attitude to a parking space, the apartment’s floor number and an apartment sauna. Whereas Finns considered a parking space clearly more important than the foreign students, the apartment’s floor number and an apartment sauna were more important to the foreign students than the Finnish students.

We would like to thank all the participants, and we will now strive to develop our operations even further with the help of the feedback we received.