Carmen Neghina

Through Student Eyes


A benchmark research in cooperation with the British Council

In cooperation with the British Council, StudyPortals mystery shopped the world´s top 500 universities – through students´ eyes. As a result an overall research findings report was compiled, that presents a global snapshot of the extensive data collected and main findings produced. All researched institutes will receive their individual findings report, which will be presented to them individually in confidence. This includes a benchmark against other top 500 institutions, but also against their peers.

University websites come in various forms and the information is displayed in diverse formats, often using jargon that is complex and unfamiliar, especially to international students. The challenge of filtering information from multiple institutions across many countries is difficult and very time-consuming, especially considering the global and inter-cultural context of the student audience.

This challenge, faced by today’s international students, prompted us to analyse the world’s top 500 universities, through student eyes. Apart from helping students, StudyPortals’ aim is to enable universities to improve the quality of information they offer for prospective students, benchmark their provision globally and attract a more diverse student population.

Within the research, a team of international students explored the websites of these institutions. They assessed the official homepages as well as selected programme pages and evaluated the difficulty in finding a predefined set of information. They also contacted the institutions asking a specific set of questions and assessed the replies received. All together more than 40 individual data points of each university’s performance were analysed and rated. This allowed the researchers to measure and compare the world top 500 universities’ performance in terms of online information provision and findability, as well as enquiry response and follow-up rate.

Altogether 445 institutions and 886 programmes from Universities in 38 different countries were analysed.

The full report can be downloaded here.



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