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Men Come Out on Top When it Comes to Cleanliness...For Once!

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It's a common perception - girls are clean and tidy, boys aren't. And some would say there's no place where this more apparent than in university student halls of residence. For many, it's the first taste of freedom; they can stay up all night, stay in bed all day, never tidy their room or change their sheets.

When it comes to the cleanliness of the students themselves, the battle of the sexes had been won - or so it seemed...

Keen to find out if students were even factored in the state of the university they were about to go to, or already attended, we conducted an independent survey asking them various questions about the state of their campus, their accommodation and indeed, themselves.

80 per cent of males questioned said they changed their bed sheets at least once a month, while almost a quarter claimed to wash them once a week. Female students, however, didn't fare almost as well, with the majority that took part admitting they only cleaned them on average every two months.

A little bit taken aback that male students - for years stereotyped as the great unwashed - were cleaner than their female counterparts, we persevered. Our research found that men also had higher expectations of cleanliness within their university accommodation. A rather high 87 per cent cited that general cleanliness and appearance of halls of residence and campus facilities was very important when choosing a preferred university, whereas only 37 per cent of women thought the same. One in five men was also disappointed upon arrival to university, saying that the accommodation was not as clean as they had expected it to be.

Students and parents will inevitably demand more from the campuses they choose - now that the average annual fee for attending a UK university is likely to reach £9,000. No longer will the criteria be just about how many good pubs and clubs are nearby or that the course only involves spending 5 hours per week in lectures .

It's likely that every aspect of the university will be scrutinised - I know I would if it was me being asked to pay back almost £30,000 after my three years had finished. That could mean the calibre of the lecturers on campus, right down to how clean and tidy the university accommodation is. It will mean more, because it will cost more, and should be something that university managers focus on.

Our research also threw up some interesting perceptions about cleanliness of campuses and possible academic qualifications. 59 per cent of men voted that students were more likely to get a better academic qualification from a clean living and working environment. Women, on the other hand, felt less inclined to agree and 37 per cent said it did not bear influence.

A light hearted look at the dynamics of cleanliness at university or a vital snapshot of a growing proportion of men who not only expect high standards from themselves but feel it important for accommodation providers to help them maintain this, in order to succeed and take these lessons through life? You decide...