Cara Skikne
6 months ago

US the only Big Four international student destination to score above the global average for student satisfaction in world’s largest survey


The US is the only Big Four student destination country to score above the global average in terms of student satisfaction according to the world’s most comprehensive university satisfaction survey from Studyportals, Unibuddy and the British Council IELTS – the 2023 Global Student Satisfaction Awards.   The US’ main competitors for talent: UK, Australia and Canada were rated below the global average by students.

The survey also showed student satisfaction with university education has increased globally post-pandemic. The surge has been driven by students’ return to campus post-pandemic and universities improving their online learning offering.

Ratings from 126,000 domestic and international students taking part in the 2023 Global Student Satisfaction Awards shows student experience has improved since the last survey in 2021 across every category measured. Overall global Student Satisfaction rose to 4.21 out of 5 (from 4.06 in 2021). Although still the lowest rated category, Online Classroom Experience saw the largest growth – up 7.2% – followed by Quality of Student Life (up 6.4%).

Studyportals CEO and Co-founder Edwin van Rest says, “The Global Student Satisfaction Awards is the only global programme which recognises the best universities from the perspective of students. Student satisfaction is higher across all categories, and this is a fantastic compliment to the higher education sector. However, we are seeing issues with the performance of the Big Four which they need to address, and with one in five English-taught programmes delivered outside the Big Four, there is more competition for students in more destinations.”


The 2023 Global Student Satisfaction Awards Report showed:

  • Internationally, Hungary is the country with the highest overall levels of student satisfaction at 4.39 (up 0.04p.p. from 2021). Portugal saw the highest uptick in student satisfaction (up 0.28p.p. from 2021 to 4.33) since the last edition of the Global Student Satisfaction Awards.
  • The University of Navarra in Spain was the overall Global Student Satisfaction Award winner. Category winners came from Austria (Student Diversity), the US (Online Classroom Experience, and Student-Teacher Interaction), Sweden (Admissions Process), Hungary (Quality of Student Life), and Ireland (Career Development).
  • Universities in the US have a strong hold across various dimensions of student satisfaction, especially for Admissions Process (4.68), Student- teacher Interaction (4.57), and Career Development (4.44). Overall Satisfaction stands at 4.32 for the US. Edwin van Rest, co-founder and CEO of Studyportals says: “There is a different political climate in the US now compared to 2021. The State Department has done a lot of work to make international students a priority and the climate is more welcoming.”
  •  Student satisfaction in Canada has risen compared to 2021, across every category. However, student satisfaction ratings for Canadian universities are generally below the global average for each dimension. Overall Student Satisfaction stands at 4.11.
  •  In the UK, students are less satisfied with Admission Process, Student-Teacher Interaction and Student Diversity compared to 2021. They are more satisfied with the Online Classroom Experience, Quality of Student Life and Career Development. Overall Student Satisfaction stands at 4.18.
  •  In all the dimensions, Australia scores below the global average except for Career Development. Australia has seen a slight drop satisfaction with Student Diversity, while Career Development has improved the most, from 3.96 in 2021 to 4.28 in 2023. Overall Student Satisfaction stands at 4.13.

Student satisfaction in top study destinations:

Global Student Satisfaction Award winners:

“For the University of Navarra it is an immense joy to receive this award, since for us offering students an outstanding academic and extra-academic experience is a key goal of our everyday work.”  says Ana Beatriz Delgado Director, International Relations Office at the University of Navarra.

About the Global Student Satisfaction Awards

The 2023 Global Student Satisfaction Awards, are hosted by Studyportals with partners Unibuddy and British Council IELTS, and media partners Times Higher Education and PIE News. They are based on data from 126,000 reviews from domestic and international students from over 200 different nationalities and reviewing higher education institutions in 126 countries. The awards are held every two years, and the initiative has gathered over 400,000 responses since it started over 10 years ago.

About Studyportals

Studyportals is the most comprehensive study choice platform featuring 250,000 English-taught programmes from 3,750+ institutions. Over 50 million students use Studyportals platforms each year to find and compare their study options across borders and select the right programme.  Our mission is to empower the world to choose education by making study choice transparent, globally.


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