More than 15,000 students enrolled at higher education institutions across the UK have participated in Times Higher Education’s (THE) Student Experience Survey 2016.

The full-time, undergraduate respondents were asked how strongly they agreed that their university provides 21 separate provisions, including “high quality facilities”, “industry connections”, “good accommodation”, “good social life” and “helpful, interested staff”.

Loughborough University, located in the UK’s East Midlands, topped THE’s most recent list, up one place from last year’s second position. Last year’s champion, the University of Bath, performed considerably worse in the most recent list, dropping four places from first place down to fifth.

“The academic experience and the overall student experience have benefited my personal development hugely,” Tim Jackson, a third-year student of industrial design and technology at Loughborough University, told THE.

“I have access to fantastic facilities, all within walking distance on campus. I’ve been able to complete part of my studies abroad, in cooperation with TU Delft, and I’ve been able to gain work experience with Adidas at their HQ in Germany.”

The agricultural specialist, Harper Adams University, makes an impressive debut in second place in 2016’s Student Experience rankings, pushing last year’s runner-up, Sheffield University, down to third position.

“As a career-changing mature student, picking the right university with good course content, employment rates and track record was vital,” said Leonie Morphett, first-year BSc wildlife conservation and natural resource management student at Harper Adams University.

“[The University] has already excelled in providing a professional and engaging learning environment, with enthusiastic lecturers actively involved in the industry in which they teach. Highlights also include opportunities to extend skills outside the classroom, which has enabled me to gain additional experience in the field and connect with other experts,” she said.

Keele University is also new to the top 10, claiming tenth position. In 2015, this spot was occupied by Newcastle University, an institution that has climbed two places to be ranked joint seventh, alongside the University of East Anglia (UEA).

“Keele is a giant green bubble in the middle of Staffordshire,” said Hannah Watts, third-year biology and forensic science student at Keele University.

“Being one of the largest campuses with the smallest student populations, you can never claim of being suffocated. The distinct layout means that most of the academic buildings are down one road, so chances are that on the way to your lecture you will see at least three friends going to their lectures.”

Southampton Solent University comes in as this year’s most improved institution, climbing 36 places from 90th in 2015, to reach joint 54th (alongside Imperial College London) this year.

“I am in love with this course,” Marica, recent graduate of Southampton Solent’s BA (Hons) in public relations and communications, told THE.

“It has a lot of practical experience as well as placement opportunities, and I have enhanced my CV greatly thanks to the jobs and internships that I have had through Southampton Solent University,” she said.

The top 10 universities in THE’s best UK universities for student experience are as follows:

1. Loughborough University

2. Harper Adams University

3. University of Sheffield

4. University of Oxford

5. University of Bath

6. University of Leeds

=7. University of East Anglia (UEA)

=7. Newcastle University

9. University of Cambridge

10. Keele University

Click here to read the full list of THE’s best UK university for student experience 2016…

Image via Flickr.

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