The student survey masth

In the second of our university ratings-related posts for May, The Times Higher Education Student Experience Survey results have just been published for 2014. In this survey 14,300 full-time undergraduates responded, each being a member of YouthSight, an opinion panel of students recruited via UCAS. The respondents graded their respective universities for 22 attributes using a 7-point marking system. Each of the 22 attributes carried a weight reflecting how important it was to each student’s overall university experience, with the attribute ‘I would recommend my university to a friend‘ carrying the most weight of all.

To rank the universities, the students were asked how much they agreed or disagreed with the following attributes:

High-quality staff/lectures
Helpful/interested staff
Well-structured courses
Good social life
Good community atmosphere
Good extracurricular activities/societies
Good environment on campus/around university
High-quality facilities
Personal requirements catered for
Good students’ union
Good support/welfare
Good personal relationships with teaching staff
Centralised/convenient facilities
Good industry connections
Good accommodation
Good security
Cheap shop/bar/amenities
Tuition in small groups
Good library and library opening hours
Fair workload
Good sports facilities
I would recommend my university to a friend

And now for the results; the top ten universities according to this survey were:

1. University of Sheffield
2. University of Bath
3. University of East Anglia
4. University of Dundee (joint fourth position with …)
4. University of Oxford
6. University of Cambridge
7. University of Exeter
8. Durham University
9. University of Leeds
10. University of Nottingham

In total, 111 institutions appear on the final dataset with those institutions scoring below 50 ratings being absent from the list. It is interesting to see that 5 universities appear in the top ten results for the fourth year in a row, those being Sheffield, East Anglia, Dundee, Oxford, Cambridge and Leeds although it’s equally interesting to see that none of those universities, and only one of the top ten results (the University of Bath), also feature in the top ten results of the ‘University of the Year‘ category in the ‘What Uni Student Choice Awards 2014‘ which was featured in our last post. The discrepancy is no doubt due to the different attributes under scrutiny, the different grading mechanisms at play in the two different surveys, the different date ranges during which the two surveys were undertaken and lastly the fact that one used current students to vote while the other used both current and former students. More information about the Times Higher Education Student Survey 2014, and a download of the ranking data in spreadsheet form, can be found at here.

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