8 years ago

International Student Satisfaction in Europe 2016

Studyportals launched Global Student Satisfaction Awards 2021, read more


At Studyportals we care about helping students and making their lives a little bit easier. One way of doing this is by providing as much information about study choice and universities as we possibly can. Since 2013, we have our own platform where (international) students can leave a review of their experiences of studying at a certain university. Within 4 years, over 170,000 students wrote a review already!

As we realize how valuable these reviews are, we have created the International Student Satisfaction Awards in order to recognize those universities with the happiest international students.

The fourth edition of the Student Satisfaction Awards are based on 15,965 reviews written by students. In the reviews, students can rate their experience out of 10, by assessing to which extent they would recommend this experience to their friends. In addition, students can give a small description of the score they have given.

This year, 153 awards were given to those universities that received at least 20 reviews with a minimum average score of 8 out of 10.

As we don’t think ranking universities is the best way to recognize every university’s efforts, we created three award categories to distinguish between levels of satisfaction:

  • Award for Very Good International Student Satisfaction: at least 8.0 out of 10
  • Award for Excellent International Student Satisfaction: between 9.0 and 9.4 out of 10
  • Award for Outstanding International Student Satisfaction: at least 9.5 out of 10

Moreover, this year international students are very satisfied with their international experiences, scoring it 8.8 out of 10 on average, which is slightly higher compared to 2015 where students scored their experience an 8.6 out of 10. Similar to last year, only 7.3% of all students that left a review scored their experience a 6 or lower.


Figure 1: International Student Satisfaction: Winning Countries

This year’s best performing country is Norway with an average score of 9.3 out of 10, together with last year’s winner Ireland and Poland.

Where Norway, Ireland and Poland scored the highest grades respectively, Spain has the highest number of awarded universities (27) followed by Germany (15), Italy and Finland (11).


Figure 3: Division of Award Categories

In total, 14 universities have received an Outstanding International Student Satisfaction award:

These universities received their awards during the International Student Satisfaction Awards at the EAIE 2016 in Liverpool.


Figure 2. International Student Satisfaction: Most Satisfied Students

French, Italian, Greek and Spanish students gave the highest overall scores to their experiences abroad and are therefore this years’ most satisfied students. Similar to last year, students from Finland and The Netherlands are least satisfied with their experiences abroad. A possible explanation for this is that they are used to a higher standard of education and therefore had higher expectations when studying abroad. However, with an average of 8.24 as lowest, they are still very pleased with their experiences abroad!

Student quote StudyPortals

For more detailed information about the award winners per country you can browse through the list of country reports!



In the media

September 2016 – The Pie News – Norway Scores highest for international student satisfaction

September 2016 – Study International News –  International students in Norway are the happiest in Europe – survey

September 2016 – – Norway voted Top For International Student Satisfaction

September 2016 – Buila – Norway scores highest for international student satisfaction 

September 2016 – The Local Norway – International students say Norway is the best

September 2016 – The Local Denmark – Denmark falls in international student satisfaction rank

September 2016 – The Local France – Why are foreign students in France ‘Europe’s unhappiest’? 

September 2016 – ABC Nyheter – Internasjonale studenter mest fornøyd i Norge 

September 2016 – Sputnik France – Les étudiants étrangers sont mécontents des universités françaises

September 2016 – UT nieuws – Buitenlandse studenten iets minder blij 

September 2016 – The Nordic Page – Norway has the happiest international students

September 2016 – Advalvas – VU is excellent voor buitenlandse studenten 

September 2016 – CPH Post Online – Danish universities the least popular among international students in the Nordics

September 2016 – Público – Alunos estrangeiros representam um terço dos inscritos nas escolas de negócios

September 2016 – Secretaria General – La UGR, elegida mejor universidad española por los estudiantes internacionales

September 2016 – Huelva 24 – Estudiantes internacionales posicionan a la UHU como la segunda Universidad mejor valorada

September 2016 – 20 minutos – Estudiantes internacionales posicionan a la Universidad de Huelva como la segunda mejor valorada de España

September 2016 – Norway Today – Norway climbs to the top of international student satisfaction

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