Carmen Neghina
7 years ago

Norway, Ireland and Poland have the happiest international students


Eindhoven, 19 September 2016 – Every year, Studyportals awards the universities that host the happiest international students, based on thousands of reviews left on the student experience platform This year, international students have expressed the highest satisfaction in Norway, Ireland and Poland.

The Studyportals International Student Satisfaction Awards 2016 are based on 15,965 reviews that international students wrote on our student experience platform during the academic year of 2015-2016. This year, 153 universities all over Europe have qualified for an award.

Scandinavian countries maintain the highest scores for student satisfaction and, therefore, stay on top of the leader-board. This year’s winning country is Norway, with an average student satisfaction score of 9.3; and in second place is 2015’s winner, Ireland (9.2). This year’s surprise comes from Poland, with a score of 9.1, bringing Poland close to the podium for the first time.

Students who study in Norway have each emphasized the high level of education and the variety of classes. They have also noted the helpful, open, and knowledgeable lecturers, along with the great student community and beautiful nature that make the experience even more pleasant.

Within Ireland, students were impressed with the diverse, international student community, the well-organized universities that were ready for exchange students, and the great foundation that was laid for their future careers. The students also commented on the Irish population being very friendly and hospitable.

Lastly, Poland is for the first time among the top winners of the International Student Satisfaction Awards. The country was appreciated for its lively student environment, great cities, nice people and cheap housing options.

Overall, international students are reporting increased satisfaction with their study abroad experience (8.8 this year on average, compared to 8.6 in 2015), although the score is still slightly lower than it was in 2014. More countries are scoring above 9.0 this year – an achievement only Ireland managed last year. In addition, only 7% of all students scored their international experience as 6 or lower this year.

Spain has the highest number of winning universities (27), based on over 1,583 reviews, showing the scale of its Erasmus network. Germany is also doing a great job, with 15 universities awarded in 2016.

The full results of the Studyportals International Student Satisfaction Awards 2016 were announced on the 15th of September during the yearly EAIE conference in Liverpool.



Figure 1. International Student Satisfaction: Winning Countries


Figure 2. International Student Satisfaction: Most Satisfied Students


Figure 3. Division of Award Categories

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

Table 1. International Student Satisfaction in Europe and Number of Awarded Institutions by Destination Country.

Destination country Amount of reviews Average Student Satisfaction rating Number of Outstanding Universities Number of Excellent Universities Number of Very Good Universities
Austria 203 8.90 2 1
Belgium 412 8.85 4 5
Czech Republic 364 8.93 1 2 3
Denmark 225 8.97 1 1 2
Finland 593 9.07 1 5 5
France 598 8.19 1 2
Germany 1003 8.89 2 7 6
Greece 121 8.67 1
Hungary 273 8.75 2 4
Ireland 187 9.19 2 1
Italy 765 8.66 3 8
Lithuania 149 8.65 1 1
Netherlands 484 8.66 3 6
Norway 181 9.26 1 2
Poland 493 9.09 2 4 1
Portugal 519 8.83 4 5
Slovenia 144 9.01 1 1
Spain 1583 8.84 1 9 17
Sweden 386 8.98 1 4 1
United Kingdom 986 9.05 6 1


Press contact:

Carmen Neghina | | +31655875270


About the International Student Satisfaction Awards

The Studyportals International Student Satisfaction Awards 2016 are based on 15,965 comments by international students. These reviews provide rare insights into universities’ performance from a student perspective. The universities included in the award had to receive at least 20 reviews since the last academic year. Institutions with an average rating of 9.5 or higher receive an Award for Outstanding International Student Satisfaction. The Excellent International Student Satisfaction Award will be handed to universities with an average rating of 9.0 or higher. Universities that received a score above 8.0 received a Very Good International Student Satisfaction Award.

For each review left on SteXX, Studyportals supports “Knowledge for Children” – promoting the involvement and self-reliance of local communities in Africa by a financial co-investment concept. The aim: improve the quality of Primary Education and give as many children as possible a better future.


About Studyportals

Studyportals is the international study choice platform, enabling students to find and compare their study options across borders. With over 117,000 published courses from over 2,400 participating universities and over 16 million visitors per year, Studyportals is a leading information source for study seekers. Studyportals was initiated out of an international student organization in 2008 and initially focused on the European education market. Since 2014 the organization, with its headquarters in Eindhoven, the Netherlands expanded its services and is now also covering universities in the US, Canada and Australia and Asia. For universities, Studyportals is a key channel for international student recruitment.

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