UEA loses top spot in national survey of student satisfaction

Students relax in the sunshine in the Square at the UEA in Norwich. Photograph Simon Parker Students relax in the sunshine in the Square at the UEA in Norwich. Photograph Simon Parker

Thursday, May 15, 2014
7:00 AM

The University of East Anglia has lost its coveted status as the top university in the country for student satisfaction, but remains in the top 10 for most areas surveyed.

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Prof Neil Ward.Prof Neil Ward.

Last year the UEA topped the Times Higher Education Student Experience Survey, beating Oxford and Cambridge into second and joint-third place respectively.

But in the ninth annual survey, published today, the university has slipped into third place, behind Sheffield and Bath.

UEA pro-vice-chancellor Prof Neil Ward said: “Ranking so highly in this well-respected survey is testament to the experience UEA and the Union of UEA Students collectively offers our students.

“We are committed to providing a top-class student experience and this has been rewarded by a consistent top 10 ranking in the Times Higher Education Student Experience Survey as well as in the National Student Survey.

“We will strive to continue to further improve the experience we offer students across all areas of their student life.”

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The UEA’s dip in the student experience survey is in contrast to a separate league table released by the Complete University Guide earlier this week, which showed it ranked 15th in the county on a combination of measures, including student satisfaction, research and the numbers of good honours degrees achieved. It was previously 20th.

Today’s Times Higher Education survey questioned more than 14,000 full-time undergraduates in the country about 22 measures, including quality of staff, social life, facilities, support, accommodation and workload.

The number of UEA students taking part rose to 168, from 119 last year.

The university’s scores fell in 14 of the 22 measures, and the students’ satisfaction with library facilities was the only area which improved.

He university’s lowest ranking was in the ‘good industry connections’ category, where it came 43rd in the county, a fall of 10 places from last year.

Prof Ward said: “We will do our best to make sure all of UEA’s students are aware of our strong commercial connections as part of the world-leading Norwich Research Park and with our thriving graduate programmes and internships with local and national companies, and through our new Enterprise Centre which will open during our next academic year.”

Norfolk’s other university, the Norwich University of the Arts, is not included in the table because the number of student respondents did not pass the organisers’ threshold of 50.

How to do you rate the performance of the UEA? Write, giving full contact details, to Letters Editor, Prospect House, Rouen Road, Norwich NR1 1RE.

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