Best student experience

November 26, 2007

Loughborough University. For this award, which Loughborough University has won for the second year running, The Times Higher commissioned the most thorough research on student experiences at UK universities. Opinionpanel Research interviewed some 22,500 full-time undergraduates, more than three times the number for last year's poll.

Unlike the National Student Survey, which interviews only final-year students during a given fieldwork window and focuses on teaching and learning, The Times Higher survey paints a broader canvas. Students from all course years take part, and polling runs throughout the year. Respondents are questioned on a wide range of activities, which they nominate as comprising and defining the student experience.

The concept of student experience was broken down into 21 attributes and members of a student panel were asked to rate how their university performed on a seven-point satisfaction scale on each of these.

Loughborough's strengths lay in the same areas as last year - community atmosphere, extracurricular activities and societies and a good environment on campus and around the university and university union.

Also for the second year running, Cambridge University came second. In third place was Glasgow University.

Heather Jackson, head of client services at the Higher Education Academy, which sponsored the award, said: "The Times Higher awards focus on what matters most to the Higher Education Academy - the student learning experience. The UK's universities and colleges enjoy a well-deserved reputation across the world for excellence.

"The HEA is delighted to act as sponsor of the awards and to celebrate the best of higher education in the UK. We are delighted to join The Times Higher in recognising and rewarding people who have made outstanding contributions to that experience. It will be the continuing professionalism of our academics that will guarantee our students' future success in leading the lives they choose."

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