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University Rankings Press Release

London, 14th November 2017: When it comes to providing the best student experience, Newcastle University is the number one place in the UK. That’s according to data released today from the UK-wide university comparison website, University Compare.

As part of its annual Student Experience Awards, University Compare collected data from almost 10,000 current and recently-graduated students across 425 institutions throughout the UK in the last 12 months. Unlike traditional academic-led studies into university suitability, this study looked specifically at four key elements of university life, including: institute & course quality, accommodation & area, employment prospects and social life.

With each university given a maximum five star rating, Newcastle came top for ‘overall student experience’ with an average of 4.36/5. In second place was Nottingham Trent (4.35), while its Midlands counterpart, Loughborough came in third (4.34). In fact, the central area of the UK fared particularly well with Aston (4.23) and Nottingham (4.22) universities also in the top 10.

The same could be said for Merseyside with both Liverpool and Liverpool Hope featuring highly and gaining the same 4.24 rating. The top 10 best universities in the UK for overall student experience are:


Rank University
1 Newcastle University (4.36/5)
2 Nottingham Trent University (4.35)
3 Loughborough University (4.34)
4 University of Leeds (4.34)
5 University Of Dundee (4.25)
6 University of Liverpool (4.24)
7 Liverpool Hope University (4.24)
8 Aston University (4.23)</span
9 University of Nottingham (4.22)
10 University of Bristol (4.20)


“The life of today’s student goes far beyond the lecture hall”, said Owen O’Neill, CEO and founder, University Compare. “Prospective students must ensure they choose the city and university that is right for them. Not just academically, but socially, geographically and culturally. All of these factors have a telling influence on a student’s ability to settle-in, perform well in the classroom and ultimately enjoy their experience.”

Despite coming out top overall, Newcastle didn’t even feature in the top 20 when it came to looking specifically at ‘institute and course quality’. In fact, it was Scottish universities that performed best here with St. Andrews (4.64), Dundee University (4.52) and The University of Stirling (4.52) in the top five alone. The Open University (4.55) and Nottingham Trent University (4.55) also fared well.

In the ‘university accommodation’ category, it was the North West of England that performed best making up half of the top six with Liverpool Hope University (4.23), Edge Hill University (4.21) and Lancaster University (4.17) doing well. Loughborough University (4.27) was the best performer in this category, while Aston (4.26) and Aberystwyth University (4.21) were also popular.

The record levels of student debt have been well publicised so being able to ‘earn and learn’ is becoming increasingly important. When looking at ‘employment prospects’ it is London that provides the most opportunity with UCFB (4.63) and King’s College London (4.41) both in the top five. The University of Bath (4.47), The Robert Gordon University (4.42) and Durham University (4.41) also had the best opportunities for those students looking for work.

Of course, no study into university suitability would be complete without looking at ‘student social experience’. Here, it is the traditional ‘heavyweights’ that dominated the list, although this study looked at broader social opportunities to meet people such as sports and societies – not just the bar and club culture. Newcastle (4.76), Leeds (4.68), Nottingham Trent (4.64) and Liverpool University (4.63) were the most popular choices here.

O’Neill concluded; “There are highly rated universities in every part of the UK. In fact, today’s students are blessed with great options wherever they go. While this means there is plenty of choice, it also means it is more critical than ever that students do their homework, and make the right choice for them.

For further information on the Student Experience Awards, or for insight and information relating to hundreds of universities around the UK, please visit https://universitycompare.com/.