Oxford comes fourth in Student Experience League

first_imgThe annual Student Experience Survey carried out by Times Higher Education has placed Oxford fourth of 111 UK universities.The poll saw over 14,000 undergraduates quizzed on aspects such as lecture provision, societies, welfare and facilities.It placed the University of Sheffield at the top of the table, up from its position in third last year. Sheffield’s Pro Vice-Chancellor for learning and teaching, Paul White, said, “It shows that we have a good all-round offer, excelling on both the academic and social sides”.White cited the University’s move to provide academic skills classes and the opportunity to learn a foreign language – available across the whole university – as helping Sheffield grab the top spot.The report on the Times Higher Education website also noted that students and staff at Sheffield hold the Guinness World Record for the most people simultaneously flipping pancakes.Second-year Sheffield student Chris Musgrave told Cherwell, “The opportunities are infinite, it’s such a welcoming environment.”Coming joint fourth with the University of Dundee, with a score of 82.8, Oxford ranks just above Cambridge, which came a close fifth. Oxford scored highly in the academic categories, notably getting at 6.5 in the category of ‘high quality staff/lecturers’ and a 6.4 in the category of ‘helpful/interested staff’.However, in the category of ‘fair workload’ both Oxford and Cambridge universities came at the bottom of the table. Another mutual weak point was ‘good students’ union’ with Oxford scoring a very low 4.1. Both also scored very low in the category of ‘cheap bar/shop amenities’, an understandable result given the March 2014 Lloyd’s bank report, which found that Oxford was the UK’s least affordable city.Oxford scored very highly in the category ‘good social life’, clocking up an average six points from a seven-point scale, on par with universities such as Birmingham, Glasgow and Liverpool. Cambridge, on the other hand, came in with a shoddy 5.6 – the lowest of the twenty-five top-ranked universities. Oxford also scored very highly was in ‘good sports facilities’. Here the university scored a 5.6 compared to Cambridge’s 5.3.A fresher studying Physical Natural Sciences at Cambridge said, “It’s not true that Cambridge students don’t have a life. I went to a JCR meeting last week. It was really good”.The survey also asked students whether they would recommend their university to a friend. Oxford scored a reasonably high 6.4, coming in slightly lower than Cambridge and Sheffield’s 6.5.Oxford students were eager to corroborate the survey’s findings. Second year English student Kate Guariento remarked, “I’m very pleased that the table reflects the outstanding social provision for which Oxford is famous – nay, venerated. In the words of my favourite stomping ground – let the good times roll!”A first-year History student at Magdalen commented, “The University’s on point with the teaching, I would just say that it is the variety of cheap amenities and accommodation that is the problem. I love Oxford but it is definitely expensive.”A first-year Law student noted, “I don’t need a survey to tell me life is better here than in Cambridge, but generally I have little to complain about except the rain.” However, an anonymous fresher at Hertford College complained, “I still have too much work.”A spokesperson from the University of Oxford commented, “We’re always pleased to be listed highly in any table like this”.last_img

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