University of Sheffield top of Russell Group and region for student experience

The University of Sheffield has today (26 April 2012) been named top of the Russell Group and top of the Yorkshire and Humberside region by the Times Higher Education Student Survey.

More than 14,000 students from institutions across the UK took part in the survey, which aims to show which universities offer the best all-round student experience. The students assessed 21 different attributes of their institution including teaching, facilities and welfare support.

The University of Sheffield outshone Oxford and Cambridge, coming first in the Russell Group universities category. It was also ranked first out of universities in the Yorkshire and Humberside region.

Students voted the University as offering the best social life (rated top alongside Loughborough), no doubt in part due to the University's award winning Students' Union, which remained first in the rankings for the third year running.

The Students' Union, which offers more than 200 sports clubs and societies, underwent a £5 million refurbishment in October 2010 and is set to benefit from a further £20 million investment to provide the best experience for students, staff and visitors. Voted the Best Students' Union in Britain by the Virgin Alternative Guide, it has constantly reinvented itself since the construction of the Graves building in 1936. The new building now features an activity and sport zone for students to exhibit and perform their work.

Students' Union President Thom Arnold said: "It's really important that universities, particularly given the current climate, provide a great student experience. I'm delighted that Sheffield has continued to be recognised for the outstanding experience we offer our students. This fantastic achievement is only possible due to the great relationship between the University and the Students' Union, and the real commitment from staff to work with students to ensure they get the most out of their time at university."

Professor Keith Burnett, Vice-Chancellor of the University of Sheffield, said: "We're thrilled to be ranked so highly for student experience. Choosing to go to a particular university is more than simply an investment in a future career. It also provides a life changing opportunity to broaden your horizons and develop socially and academically. Our excellent student facilities are home to a vibrant community and a student experience that is enriching to the whole person. We believe university life at Sheffield inspires students for the rest of their lives and we're delighted that our students agree."

Notes for Editors:
To find out more about the Times Higher Education Student Experience Survey, visit: Times Higher Education

With nearly 25,000 students from 125 countries, the University of Sheffield is one of the UK's leading and largest universities. A member of the Russell Group, it has a reputation for world-class teaching and research excellence across a wide range of disciplines.

The University of Sheffield has been named University of the Year in the Times Higher Education Awards for its exceptional performance in research, teaching, access and business performance. In addition, the University has won four Queen's Anniversary Prizes (1998, 2000, 2002, 2007). These prestigious awards recognise outstanding contributions by universities and colleges to the United Kingdom's intellectual, economic, cultural and social life. Sheffield also boasts five Nobel Prize winners among former staff and students and many of its alumni have gone on to hold positions of great responsibility and influence around the world.

The University's research partners and clients include Boeing, Rolls Royce, Unilever, Boots, AstraZeneca, GSK, ICI, Slazenger, and many more household names, as well as UK and overseas government agencies and charitable foundations.

The University has well-established partnerships with a number of universities and major corporations, both in the UK and abroad. Its partnership with Leeds and York Universities in the White Rose Consortium has a combined research power greater than that of either Oxford or Cambridge.

For further information please contact: Amy Stone, Media Relations Officer, on 0114 2221046 or email a.f.stone@sheffield.ac.uk