Students vote the University of Sheffield number one for student satisfaction in the UK

  • University of Sheffield rises two places to the top spot ahead of the universities of Bath and East Anglia for overall student satisfaction.
  • Ranked number one in ‘high quality facilities’, ‘good social life’, ‘good accommodation’ and ‘good Students’ Union’.
  • Praised for ‘student support’, ‘well-structured courses’ and ‘library services’.

The University of Sheffield is the number one university in the UK for student satisfaction in this year’s Times Higher Education Student Experience Survey.

Number one for student experience

The announcement, revealed today (15 May 2014), further strengthens the University’s position as an internationally renowned institution not only for academic excellence but also student experience.

More than 14,000 students from universities across the country took part in the survey which highlights the institutions that shine in the way they cater for student’s needs. This year the University of Sheffield rose two places beating the University of Bath and the University of East Anglia to the top spot – while the universities of Oxford and Cambridge ranked fourth and sixth place respectively.

In addition to being voted number one overall the University was judged top in a number of attributions which are key individual measures of student experience including: ‘high quality facilities’, ‘good social life’, ‘good accommodation’ and ‘good Students’ Union’.

Students also scored the University highly in the ‘student support’, ‘well-structured courses’ and ‘library services’ categories which demonstrates Sheffield’s progression in a variety of areas over the past year.

These results reaffirm the University of Sheffield as a unique place to study and a global leader in research and teaching, as well as an institution giving students an unrivalled rich experience in a city unlike any other in the UK.

Professor Sir Keith Burnett, Vice-Chancellor of the University of Sheffield, said: "We are delighted and humbled that our students have voted us number one for student experience in the UK.

“We already had confidence that we offered students an outstanding education and that this was accompanied by exceptional facilities and extra-curricular activities such as volunteering and the development of enterprise skills. But our students also appreciate the particular care for their interests and well-being which is so central to our culture here in Sheffield.

Number one Students' Union“Students tell us openly what means most to them. As a University we do our utmost to listen to that, whether that is how we welcome students and help them make the transition from living at home to university life, to the support of academic and personal tutors, exceptional student services and library facilities, and of course our top-rated Students’ Union.”

He added: “This award reflects a genuine partnership between our students and the University. Staff at all levels and in many different roles have a genuine care for students and want to see them thrive during their time with us and beyond into the world of work.

“It is wonderful to know that our students feel that care and believe that it is making a difference. That is a partnership we will never take for granted – I would like to thank all those students who voted for this tremendous encouragement.”

Topping the Times Higher Student Experience Survey is the latest in a huge number of accolades for the Students’ Union including scooping the ‘Internationalising the Student Experience’ category at the National Union of Students (NUS) and UK Council for International Student Affairs (UKCISA) Internationalisation Awards and the highest possible standard in the Green Impact Students’ Union Programme.

Ally Buckle, President of the University of Sheffield’s Students’ Union said: "Sheffield is a great place to study so it comes as no surprise that our students are amongst the most satisfied in the UK.

“To get number one however is a real accolade and I'm very proud of us for achieving this.

"We must continue to strive for excellence, continually improving the relationship between staff and students and empowering students to become the leaders of the future.

Ranked top three for the following measures:

  • Well-structured courses
  • Good social life
  • Good community atmosphere
  • Good extracurricular activities/societies
  • High-quality facilities
  • Personal requirements catered for
  • Good students' union
  • Good support/welfare
  • Good accommodation
  • Good library and library opening hours
  • Fair workload
  • I would recommend my university to a friend

“We must work in partnership to develop everyone’s experience at the University of Sheffield, and we must not forget how staff satisfaction impacts upon the student experience."

Determined to hold on to the prestigious accolade the University of Sheffield is already striving for further success with a number of ambitious plans – all of which will continue to enhance student experience.

The University recently made its largest-ever investment in learning and teaching with the development of its newest £81 million building which will offer state-of-the-art specialist facilities.

Number one for good social life in the UKThe Diamond, which is scheduled to open in September 2015, will create over 500 jobs and contribute £44.5 million to the local economy during construction and the first year of operation.

Moving forward the University has ground breaking plans to introduce enterprise education into the entire curriculum, rather than providing it solely as an extra-curricular activity. This will enable staff to embed interdisciplinarity and real-world engagement into teaching, in turn helping to inspire and produce graduates who can drive the economy forward.

Impressive plans to create Factory 2050, which will put Sheffield at the heart of manufacturing on a global stage, have recently been given the green light. The £43 million pioneering development will combine a range of technologies, including advanced robotics, flexible automation, off-line printing in virtual environments linked to plug-and-play robotics, and 3D printing from flexible automated systems.

Another example of the University’s commitment to the student experience is the global #WeAreInternational campaign which demonstrates the importance of providing the best support for learners from across the world. The campaign, which is now backed by more than 100 universities, education institutions and international organisations, was jointly founded by the University’s Vice-Chancellor and the Students’ Union President. Supported by cross-parliamentary MPs the campaign highlights the crucial value of international students to the UK.

Additional information

University crowned number one for Student Satisfaction

Find out more about #weareinternational

Discover more about University of Sheffield Enterprise

The University of Sheffield

With almost 25,000 of the brightest students from around 120 countries, learning alongside over 1,200 of the best academics from across the globe, the University of Sheffield is one of the world’s leading universities.
A member of the UK’s prestigious Russell Group of leading research-led institutions, Sheffield offers world-class teaching and research excellence across a wide range of disciplines.

Unified by the power of discovery and understanding, staff and students at the university are committed to finding new ways to transform the world we live in.

In 2011 it was named University of the Year in the Times Higher Education Awards and in the last decade has won four Queen’s Anniversary Prizes in recognition of the outstanding contribution to the United Kingdom’s intellectual, economic, cultural and social life.

Sheffield has five Nobel Prize winners among former staff and students and its alumni go on to hold positions of great responsibility and influence all over the world, making significant contributions in their chosen fields.
Global research partners and clients include Boeing, Rolls-Royce, Unilever, AstraZeneca, Glaxo SmithKline and Siemens, as well as many UK and overseas government agencies and charitable foundations.


For further information please contact:

Amy Pullan
Media Relations Officer
University of Sheffield
0114 222 9859