Belfast Telegraph

Thursday 18 December 2014

Durham voted best by students

Durham has topped a student poll for academic excellence, low crime rates and a lively social life
Durham has topped a student poll for academic excellence, low crime rates and a lively social life

Durham University has topped a student quality of life survey by scoring highly for academic excellence as well as its social life.

Loughborough, Cambridge, Newcastle and Oxford rounded out the top five rankings, according to research by Lloyds Bank which used a range of sources to look at how universities scored against factors such as accommodation costs, sports facilities, students' earnings potential and crime rates.

Nine out of 10 students at Durham were happy with their course according to the research, scoring more highly than the average of 85% across the study.

Durham was also found to hold some of the "best sporting facilities" among British universities, while Durham students also rated their social lives as among the best in Britain.

Crime rates in Durham were the lowest in the survey, with a rate of 0.88 incidents per 1,000 residents.

Loughborough University also scored highly in terms of sporting excellence and 88% of students said they were satisfied with their course. Students at the Leicestershire university live in an area with a relatively low crime rate and have close to 100 bars and pubs to choose from, according to the findings.

Meanwhile, students living in Newcastle and Sheffield were found to be the happiest with their social lives and Manchester students were found to have the biggest choice of pubs in their local area at almost 250.

Bath University was rated as providing the most satisfactory educational experience, with 94% of final year students saying they were happy with the quality of their course.

Students at the University of Northumbria were found to have the cheapest institution-owned or sponsored accommodation, followed by the universities of Swansea, Teeside and Staffordshire.

Meanwhile, the highest full-time salaries were found to be earned by graduates of the London School of Economics (LSE), where graduates reported an average salary of £27,388 after six months in employment.

The earning power of LSE graduates was followed by that of those from Cambridge, King's College London and Oxford.

Nitesh Patel, an economist at Lloyds Bank, said: "Taking a wide range of indicators into account, students at Durham University enjoy the best quality of student life. Durham students are satisfied with the quality of their course, which appears to provide them with excellent employment prospects, but they also rate their social life highly and live in a low crime environment."

He added that the "provincial cities in the North" tended to rate particularly highly in terms of "a good social life".

Here is how the universities ranked according to the quality of life survey:

1. University of Durham

2. Loughborough University

3. University of Cambridge

4. University of Newcastle

5. University of Oxford

6. University of Bath

7. University of Nottingham

8. University of Manchester

9. University of Sheffield

10. Swansea University

11. University of Northumbria

12. University of Leeds

13. University of Birmingham

14. University of Exeter

15. University of Warwick

16. University of Bristol

17. Keele University

18. University of East Anglia

19. Lancaster University

20. University of Southampton

21. Cardiff Metropolitan University

22. University of Reading

23. University of Liverpool

24. Sheffield Hallam University

25. University of York

26. University of Chester

27. Leeds Metropolitan University

28. University of Kent

29. York St John University

30. University of Edinburgh

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