Effects of Students' Perceived Safety of Public Outdoor Environment on Academic Achievement at University Campus

Kim, Wonpil

  • Received : 2014.10.07
  • Accepted : 2015.02.08
  • Published : 2015.03.30


The physical environment can dramatically affect students' feeling and their behavior, educational attainment, and the way in which we do school activities. Unlimited access to campus areas without appropriate securities have reported an increase of crime in school area and safety issues has encouraged school facility planners to install securities devices at every corner of buildings. However, it is still questionable whether this approach is enough to protect students and staffs from the victimization of crime, including thefts, burglaries and sexual offences. There has been continued doubt about the safety of educational facilities where individual college students are studying and enjoying extra-curricular activities. Therefore, the purpose of this study is intended to investigate the effects of perception of safety by students on the level of academic performance at public outdoor environment of university campus. An extensive literature noted that the central element of modern school design principle mainly holds the theory of crime prevention through environmental design (CPTED) and the concept of defensible space. The second generation of CPTED also focused on social soft issues as well as situational factors, which extends beyond mere physical design to include social factors. The correlation analysis found that the effect of sense of safety does appear to be statistically significant on the facilitation of academic achievement. However, the analysis of Chi-square concluded that the perception of safety was not related to demographic and socio-economic profiles of the group except for gender. Further, stepwise multiple regression analysis revealed that the most prime predictor for academic achievement were 'safe public outdoor space/paths' at university campus environment, implying careful design of public open space and sidewalks based on the guideline of CPTED. The study also demonstrated that as the level of positive perception of safety rose, the overall academic achievement also responded to the specified rate (${\beta}=.99$). Finally, the findings reinforce an evidence that high-quality school environments are a positive factor in student academic performance.


CPTED;Defensible Space;Fear of Crime;Sense of Safety(SOS);Academic Achievement;University Campus;Demographic Profile


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Supported by : Seoul National University of Science & Technology