Research by Wates revealed that almost a third of UK university estates directors have made improving their teaching facilities their top priority while half ranked it among their top three concerns.
Better building are needed as the competition for students continues to intensify.
The survey revealed that 52% of respondents said they have major construction projects (worth over £5 million) on the go.
Another 40% are planning new projects within the next two years.
Ian Vickers, Universities Lead for Wates Construction, said: “Nowadays, estates strategies must be carefully crafted to align with students’ needs and expectations of a good, useful education that will equip them to succeed in the wider world.
“Our research reveals that, as they deal with a whole variety of competing demands, estates directors must go back to basics: focusing on teaching and learning.
“The operating environment for universities is more competitive than ever before, and under the current Government funding settlement there will be winners and losers.
“Attracting and retaining students is of paramount importance to a university’s continued financial health, and estates strategies must be geared towards addressing this fact.
“Universities are continuing to build facilities that foster innovation despite the commercial pressures upon them and the cuts to Government grants.
“They are investing heavily in research facilities for the sciences, and are setting up ‘hubs’ to encourage greater collaboration with businesses.
“This is encouraging for higher education and for the UK economy as a whole.
“However, universities seem to be isolated in driving things forward on this front – they need real support from Government and business.”