STUDENTS at a top Scottish university have voted overwhelmingly to spend £40,000 on “ridiculous” Google-style “nap pods”.
Nap pods are common at the offices of tech firm Google and now students at Edinburgh University want them in their main library to raise student satisfaction.
A student-led “think-tank” wrote a 30-page report on why two rooms should be converted to each contain two pods, ahead of a vote by the student body.
More than 1,900 students voted on whether the university should introduce the pods in an online ballot, with 84% voting in favour.
Following the result of the vote, student leaders will now put a formal request for the introduction of the pods to university management.
A statement from Edinburgh University Students’ Association this morning states: “Students have voted to endorse proposals to discuss provision of rest facilities with the University, who will take any further decisions on implementation.”
The pods cost up to £10,000 each to which has to be added the cost of converting the rooms.
Despite support amongst the majority of the student body, the idea has been dismissed as “trash” by some students who want to see the money spent elsewhere.
The think-tank, called the Buchanan Institute, stated in its report: “Student satisfaction for the university is low (120th in the UK according to the 2017 Complete University Guide) and one major factor contributing to this can be student welfare and comfort.
“Harvard Medical School’s Dr Charles Czeisler has argued that sleep is the “third pillar” of health directly linked with wellbeing and productivity. Dr Czeisler has highlighted the consequences of sleep deprivation on one’s health, productivity, alertness and awareness.”
But writing on social media, several students mocked the idea.
One student wrote: “This is the most ridiculous motion I have ever read.
“How about we get enough study spaces for students or working disabled toilets or a more diverse range of books or equal and independent access to university buildings or pavements that aren’t falling apart or funding for mental health programs or any number of things before we build ‘nap pods’.”
Another student simply wrote: “Vote. Against. This. Trash.”
Another quipped: “This is literally my definition of what happens when liberals at a rich university think about political change.
Asked whether they would consider the students’ proposal, a spokeswoman for Edinburgh University said: “The University of Edinburgh is always open to discussions with its students on a wide range of initiatives to help improve the student experience.”
53% of students voted for the pods at a recent student union meeting, but after the closeness of the result, an online ballot on the issue, open to all students at the university, was proposed.
The nap pods at Google’s offices are spherical plastic beds, raised off the ground, designed for mid-shift cat naps.
Similar pods have also been installed at several other start-up companies, airports and in universities in the United States.