York 37th for student experience despite improvement

The University has improved for student experience but is still not ranked highly for it. Photo Credit: Laura Hughes

The University has improved for student experience but is still not ranked highly for it. Photo Credit: Laura Hughes

York has been ranked as 37th in the UK for student experience in a survey by Times Higher Education. Although it is an improvement from 61st last year it is still a disappointing result for a Russell Group University, regularly ranked in the top 15 in the country overall.

In contrast the city’s second university, York St John, which falls well behind in other statistics, was ranked ninth in the UK for student experience.

The new ranking raises further questions over the University’s stance on issues such as accommodation, teaching and their general approach to students.

York has struggled in recent years in the student experience rankings, and some would suggest this is down to a focus on the expansion and other projects rather than students themselves.

The University of East Anglia topped the rankings overall, with Oxford coming second. It has been suggested before that lower ranking universities tend to do better for student satisfaction but the presence of Oxford, Cambridge, Bath and Lancaster in the top ten show it is possible to be ranked highly overall and for student satisfaction.

A spokesperson for the University said that York was making progress and expects this to continue: “We have made a substantial improvement in the THE Student Experience Survey 2013. We believe that trend will continue as the extensive infrastructure improvements such as the Library refurbishment and the York Sport Village bed in. Our programme of refurbishment of student accommodation will also continue with James A, B and C blocks due to be refurbished this summer, and further improvements planned for 2014.”

YUSU President, Kallum Taylor commented: “Whilst we’re well aware that the University really needs to improve its offering of the ‘student experience’, coming 37th is a surprise for all the wrong reasons. It’s going to be tougher and tougher for Universities to compete in the UK and this is exactly why we’ve been banging on about the Student Experience for a while now.”

He added: “It’s the total package that counts now and it goes far beyond the classroom. We need to do a whole lot more in creating the conditions and opportunities for our members to hit their potential. YUSU can play a big role here if the University allow us to do so, and to their credit I know they’re listening. We’re working together on putting together a strategy dedicated to this, and we’ve just got to make sure it means something more than another fancy report to roll out at meetings.”

9 comments

  1. Maybe it’s because of the abysmal nightlife. Perhaps it’s because of the lack of free (or at least cheap) sports facilities for students to use. Let’s not forget the shockingly ugly campus architecture. And the overpriced housing options! And the over-hyped, failing college system… eughhh. Surprised it’s this highly ranked to be honest.

    Reply Report

  2. 26 Apr ’13 at 6:18 pm

    Makes A Good Point

    “Some would suggest this is down to a focus on the expansion and other projects rather than students themselves.” – This.

    Reply Report

  3. > Maybe it’s because of the abysmal nightlife.
    York St. John is 9th. They have the same nightlife.

    > Perhaps it’s because of the lack of free (or at least cheap) sports facilities for students to use.
    Perhaps. However, there’s a lot of freely accessible sports and activities going on, but the problem might be in how well it’s being promoted.

    > Let’s not forget the shockingly ugly campus architecture.
    It was made in the 60’s when that was the way architecture was done. If you’re rating your experience at a University based on some 50-year-old buildings, then you might need to rethink things.

    > And the overpriced housing options!
    Yep. I agree, but again, St. John is still 9th and has similar options to it’s students.

    > And the over-hyped, failing college system… eughhh. Surprised it’s this highly ranked to be honest.
    I like my college. Not everyone is into college-pride, but I bet there’s a lot that the “failing college system” has done for you that you were not aware of. I think without the Provosts and College tutors, we’d be failing even more.

    In my opinion, improvement takes time. You’re not going to go from 45th to 4th from one year to the next. Some people taking this survey may be judging the University on how it was for their 3 years here, whilst others will be judging based on 1. If York is really “improving” it’s student experience, then surely that should be judged over a longer period of time.

    Reply Report

  4. Maybe it’s because of the racism.

    Reply Report

  5. at least you may have avoided the displeasure of york during the 90s when large swathes of the

    Reply Report

  6. campus held all the welcome of a trip to silent hill. it was just a bad version of butlins then.

    Reply Report

  7. The student experience will improve when senior management start addressing the problems at the University.

    This means that when a complaint is raised there should not be knee jerk reactions of “we don’t have that around here, if you don’t like it just leave” – which is the norm at York.

    If there is a problem raised by a complaint, fucking deal with it.

    Reply Report

  8. If you don’t like York, you could always go to the University of Bradford – they seem to be letting anyone in nowadays.

    Reply Report

  9. Maybe students from York St John’s have low expectation and easily pleased.

    Reply Report

Leave a comment



Please note our disclaimer relating to comments submitted. Please do not post pretending to be another person. Nouse is not responsible for user-submitted content.