The University of Sussex has made a significant leap in the most recent Times Higher Education’s Student Experience poll, published earlier this month.

The results, taken from nationwide surveys in 2009, shows Sussex has climbed to 26th place out of 104 universities, up from 52nd in 2008. The University of Brighton also improved from last year, now at 85th in the rankings after moving up 4 places.

More than 11,000 full-time undergraduates in the UK gave their views on every aspect of university life, from the quality of teaching to student support, social life and institutional facilities.

The results of the poll were used to decide the 2009 Times Higher Education Award for Most Improved Student Experience, which went to Queen Mary, University of London.

Loughborough University took the number one spot above all others, unmoved from last year’s poll, showing decidedly that students at Loughborough are the most satisfied in the country.�

The University of Cambridge moved up one place to 2nd, while the University of Oxford moved down one place to 3rd.

A total of 49 students at Sussex took part in the survey, collaboratively giving the university an impressive score of 77.6, compared to the average 74. Loughborough University achieved a striking 84.9, with a total of 128 of their students taking part in the survey.

The University of Sussex scored 6.0 for the quality of teaching staff and lectures, a notable 1.1 points above the mean of 4.9. This compares to the Universities of Oxford and Cambridge, which both scored highest for satisfaction with teaching at 6.5.

The structure of the courses at the University of Sussex received a score of 5.9 compared to the average 4.7.

The highest score for this category, achieved by Cambridge University, was 6.2.

This score is particularly insightful due to last year’s vote on re-structuring the academic year in which the faculty would have adopted a semester-style teaching system instead.

The results of last year’s re-structuring survey showed the majority of participating students were against the change. 

 Sussex students gave the university 5.7 for its social life, compared to 6.3 at Loughborough, 5.8 at Cambridge and 5.9 at Oxford. The average score for student satisfaction with social life at their respective university was 4.7.

A first-year student at the University of Sussex said in response to this result: “I find that a little hard to believe because we’re so close to Brighton, where every night there’s some club event going on. Also I thought people at Oxbridge were working all the time? How can they rate their social lives higher than we do?”

 Unlike other surveys in this field, the attributes rated by students were chosen by students themselves, allowing them to determine the factors they think contribute to a high-quality student experience.

The students union, USSU, received a score of 5.1 compared to the average 4.2, showing it to be miles ahead of the others. Loughborough’s student union scored 6.0, as did the University of Cambridge.

To see the full results of the table, visit

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