University of Sheffield awarded University of the Year for Student Experience

The University of Sheffield has been named Daily Mail University of the Year for Student Experience 2024.

Students outside the University of Sheffield's Students' Union building
  • New rankings by the Daily Mail have named the University of Sheffield ‘University of the Year for Student Experience 2024’
  • Award recognises the University’s National Student Survey (NSS) results, swift shift back to in-person teaching following the Covid-19 pandemic and social inclusion work
  • The University is also ranked 11th overall in the UK and performed highly for its work to support students who are the first in their family to go to university.

The University of Sheffield has been named Daily Mail University of the Year for Student Experience 2024.

The award is based on the University’s National Student Survey (NSS) results – for which the University was placed top in the Russell Group –  as well as the University’s swift move back to in-person teaching following the Covid-19 pandemic;  its commitment to social inclusion; and its work to support the South Yorkshire region.

Overall, the University was ranked 11th place and performed particularly well in the rankings when it came to supporting students who are the first in their family to go to university.

The new league table, which is in its first year, ranks universities on 12 performance measures. These include outcomes from this year's National Student Survey, the proportion of graduates in highly-skilled jobs and the salaries they earn, research quality and research income, degree outcomes, student progression and the proportion of students who are the first in their family to go to university.

The news comes just weeks after the University of Sheffield’s NSS results placed Sheffield top across the Russell Group of universities for assessment and feedback and its Students’ Union, and in the top three for learning opportunities, student voice and mental health. The University also received the highest positive responses to the survey, which asked students to give feedback on their higher education experience.

Professor Mary Vincent, Vice-President for Education at the University of Sheffield, said: “Providing a fantastic student experience in a welcoming environment is so important to us, so it is great to know our work in this area has been recognised and this award is a testament to the dedication of our staff.

“Students are at the heart of everything we do here at the University and we will continue to work hard to provide them with the world-class learning and teaching experience Sheffield is known for.”

Alastair McCall, Editor of the Daily Mail University Guide, said: “Students love Sheffield, and they are applying in record numbers. Many of them have such a great time that they settle in the city after graduation. The love they feel is reflected in this year’s National Student Survey (NSS) scores where the University is the most successful large University in our analysis of questions relating to the student experience.

“The size of the University is important here. It is relatively easy to deliver a great student experience where student numbers are small, far harder for a larger institution where creating a sense of community identity is more of a challenge. Just ask many of Sheffield’s large Russell Group rivals, which occupy the lower reaches of the NSS rankings. Sheffield is the leading performer among this 24-strong group of highly selective universities. 

“Students scored library and IT resources highly and praised the university for course organisation. Students appreciated that Sheffield was one of the universities that kept as much teaching in-person as possible through the pandemic, reverting to a normal university experience afterwards far quicker than some. For its exemplary record of putting students first, Sheffield wins our University of the Year award for Student Experience.”

Earlier this year, the University of Sheffield’s Students’ Union was voted the Whatuni Student Choice Award 2023 for Best Students' Union, for the sixth year in a row, while the University was also nominated for the University of the Year and Student Life categories.

The Daily Mail University Guide is published in print in the Mail on Sunday 10 September 2023 and can be found online at


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Sheffield is a research university with a global reputation for excellence. We're a member of the Russell Group: one of the 24 leading UK universities for research and teaching.