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The Challenge


Sodexo provides food and facilities management services for universities all over the world. The company wanted to get a better understanding of the university experience in multiple countries, to develop a clear point of view and establish itself as a global thought leader in this area.

“The international business had seen that the University Lifestyle Survey had been really successful in the UK. The idea this time was to help position us as a global player.”
Press and PR Director, Sodexo

YouthSight had previously worked successfully with Sodexo on similar thought-leadership studies focusing on the UK, which generated significant press coverage. Sodexo now asked us to do the same thing across six countries: the UK, the US, Spain, Italy, India and China.

sodexo2017

The Solution


YouthSight managed the full global survey project in all six countries, from recruitment and sampling to fieldwork, analysis and reporting. Sodexo benefited from a single point of contact throughout the project, making it as easy as possible to manage.

The YouthSight team made sure findings were presented in a digestible way for Sodexo’s stakeholders in all six countries to understand and apply.

The Outcome


This project resulted in a unique piece of global research, revealing fresh, valuable insights into university life globally, and enabling unique international comparisons.

For example, the survey highlighted the differences between countries based on how much students have to pay towards their education. One third of UK students are concerned about debt after graduating, compared with only a quarter globally.

It also revealed students’ expectations regarding food services, finding that 60% of UK students expect vegetarian or vegan food to be available at their university’s catering or retail outlets, and 49% expect “free-from” food.

The findings generated significant press coverage for Sodexo including a number of key trade titles, and the study continues to help maintain Sodexo's reputation among universities and other stakeholders, as one of the most authoritative voices on global student life.

What next?

From getting Millennials more active to predicting the future of tuition fees, explore our case studies and see how we helped the UK's biggest brands win over today's youth.

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