CommentUni Life

Has the new food space at Callaghan improved student satisfaction?

The University has introduced more food options at Callaghan campus in response to student dissatisfaction, but have they made a difference? Yak Media visits Callaghan to investigate, Leanne Elliott reports.

In response to feedback from students in the 2022 Student Feedback on the University of Newcastle (SFUN) survey, the University of Newcastle created a new outdoor food space dubbed The Lawn, at  Callaghan campus.

The Lawn is conveniently located behind the SH (The House) and next to SR (Social Sciences) buildings and is home to Cadre Coffee, Hussy’s Kebabs and Kumache Kitchen.

It has a relaxed vibe and during our visit there was a steady stream of students and staff enjoying conversation while buying lunch or enjoying their lunch break at one of the nearby tables.

Source: 2022 SFUN Report

Feedback on the space was positive with several students and staff saying they enjoyed the new space and welcome the new food and beverage options. Although numerous people mentioned the rain had an impact their use of the space.

Contrastingly, feedback for the food options on Callaghan campus as a whole varied but largely continued to reflect 2022 SFUN feedback; with greater variety and affordability continuing to be the main themes raised during our visit.

Source: 2022 SFUN Report

For further context (and for the stat lovers), according to the University of Newcastle’s 2022 SFUN report, only 50% of students surveyed were satisfied with on-campus food & beverage options. Meaning 50% of survey respondents were less than satisfied.

Additionally, the report shows that over 1,500 survey respondents indicated they would like to see more “budget food” options and “food court” style eating available on campus.

Similarly, over 1,000 survey respondents indicated they would like “healthy food options, rotating food trucks, international cuisine, a sushi bar and coffee carts” to be available at University of Newcastle’s campuses.

So, while The Lawn appears to be a hit on campus and is a definite step in the right direction toward delivering solutions based on SFUN student feedback, according to feedback on the ground, more work is needed to improve the food and beverage options at Callaghan.

Yak Media will be following the results of the 2023 SFUN survey closely to see how great the impact the new food and beverage facilities on campus have on student feedback.

Are you a student at Callaghan, or studying at one of the University’s Newcastle City, Central Coast or Sydney campuses? Let us know your thoughts on the food options and food affordability on campus in the comments below.

Feature Image by Sophie Jaggers, Yak Writer 

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