Carmen Neghina
10 years ago

‘TripAdvisor’ for universities reveals high international student satisfaction across Europe


British universities score on average 8.8 out of 10

EINDHOVEN – International students in the UK would rate their experience on average with 8.8 out of 10 according to a new survey, showing that they are overall very satisfied. The UK comes in at 9th place in a list of 19 popular countries. It is more highly rated than traditional destinations in the Mediterranean, such as Spain (8.7), Italy (8.4) and France (8.1) but lower than Germany, which is at 8.9. These are the results of a survey by StudyPortals on their European Commission funded student experience exchange platform, based on reviews written by 17,000 students from all over Europe. As well as being a measure of student satisfaction, the survey also reveals the key factors that are important for students studying abroad.

British students seek to improve personal skills while abroad

The StudyPortals survey also reveals that they greatly appreciate the chance to go abroad and discover new cultures and ways of life, rather than only focussing on the academic benefits of studying abroad. “It was one of the most rewarding experiences of my life. Not only did it give me the opportunity to develop language skills, explore new cultures and make lifelong friends, it also enabled me to challenge myself in new ways, learn more about myself and become a more confident, open-minded and adventurous person,” says Emily, who studied in Oldenburg, Germany. British students gave their experience 8.4 on average. The most content were those in Austria, giving an average score of 9.2 out of 10.

The biggest areas that influence international student satisfaction are a good city atmosphere, a well-regarded university, friendly locals and welcoming teachers. Together these factors account for a quarter of all comments in the survey. The biggest negative influencers are living costs, poor accommodation, excessive bureaucracy and a low level of teaching.

In contrast to traditional university rankings, which are often based on reputation and citation indices, this survey is purely experience based, looking at if and why students would recommend their international university experience – much like TripAdvisor. This allows prospective students to get a better idea of what to expect, and helps to establish what international students find important in order to improve the quality of international study. As well as this in-depth analysis, it allows a comparison of student satisfaction across the whole of Europe for the first time.

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