Times Higher Student Experience Survey 2015

This year’s THE Student Experience Survey has been published, with few surprises among the top performers.

Despite several new entries into the top 10 this year, both the University of Cambridge (fourth place) and the University of Oxford (fifth) retain their high positions, as do the University of Exeter (eighth, down from seventh) and the University of Leeds (unchanged at ninth). “This year’s results reinforce how much can be achieved by those universities most committed to improving the student experience,” says James MacGregor, director of YouthSight, which provides the data for THE’s Student Experience Survey. “The relative stability of rankings between years highlights the remarkable gains made by a few.”

Bath University come out top and the reasons provided by their VC include:

  • nurturing environment for excellent enterprising minds
  • Student liaison groups in each department
  • a strong relationship with the students’ union
  • spending more than £1 million a week on improving the infrastructure over the past year

As last year, I still think that the results should be taken with a pinch of salt, based on the relatively small sample size of students For instance for this university, the results are based on responses from 116 students, recruited through UCAS. So, a small sample, and one that does not represent the fuller and wider student population.

However Staffordshire University’s position has moved as follows:

year position
2015 88
2014 97
2013 60

So a gradual improvement, and looking at all of the various factors, we can see an improved score in all but three of the areas:

  • Good environment on campus/around university
  • Good security
  • Good library and library opening hours

The ongoing campus investment, and the recently revised library hours will hopefully improve student satisfaction in these areas, and we will see the benefit in the forthcoming NSS results