The University of Bath came up top trumps in this 2015’s Times Higher Education Student Experience Survey, having moved up from second place the previous year. Loughborough, most famous for its sporting achievements, came runners up.
What things did the survey consider? Where did everyone else finish?
The poll covers 21 aspects of quality and Bath rated highly for all of these, performing particularly well on the quality of its academic staff, degree course and teaching facilities.
Other key areas in which the university surpasses expectation include the way it tailors its services to meet the individual needs of its students and its array of extracurricular activities. Bath shares first place for “good community atmosphere” in the survey which took into account 14,700 students and 113 universities across the UK.
In spite of a number of new entries into to the 10 this year, Oxford (5th) and Cambridge (4th) retained their high positions, as did Exeter (7th) and Leeds (unchanged at 9th). Campus universities seemed to dominate overall, despite top 10 finishes by Sheffield, Newcastle and Leeds.
A good year all round?
The news rounded of an excellent year for Bath, which also experienced record numbers of student applications last year. Dame Glynis Breakwell, Bath’s vice-chancellor said: “I’m delighted because we’ve managed a very solid performance across the whole picture.
“The consistently high scores show that Bath succeeded in its efforts to provide a nurturing environment for excellent enterprising minds. We have also been spending more than £1 million a week on improving infrastructure over the past year and we will continue to do this for the next two years.”
What did we find out?
With nearly all UK undergrads now paying fees of £9000 at English universities, students are increasingly demanding excellence in every aspect of their university experience, from their tutors and courses to extra-curricular activities. This seems to have been reflected in the findings.
Perhaps Bath’s success comes down to the fact they listened to their students more than other universities. Student liaison groups in each department, in addition to a strong relationship with the students’ union, helped the university understand the needs of students and respond accordingly.
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