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Students rate Queen's University Belfast experience in Top 10 UK survey

By Claire McNeilly

Queen's University Belfast is one of the best in the United Kingdom for atmosphere, social life and quality of lectures - and Ulster University is catching up.

That's according to the latest Times Higher Education UK Student Experience Survey which puts QUB in 9th place out of more than 120 institutions.

The high ranking caps a series of improvements for the university which came 12th in 2015 and 24th in 2014, with students praising its library, student union and the atmosphere on campus.

Meanwhile, in another coup for Northern Ireland, Ulster University is the most improved overall institution this year as it has climbed 37 places to joint 61st, scoring highly for the quality of its teaching staff.

The university improved in 21 of 22 criteria measured, according to the results, and builds on the success of winning Most Improved Student Experience at the THE Awards 2016.

Professor David Jones, Pro-Vice-Chancellor for Education and Students at Queen's University Belfast, said it was a great achievement to land such a high ranking in the prestigious UK listing.

"We are delighted to be included in the top 10 in the Times Higher student experience survey," he said.

"Queen's is committed to creating a dynamic environment that is world-leading and that provides life-enhancing opportunities for our students.

"Over the past 10 years, we have invested £350m in our campus on state-of-the-art facilities and buildings to ensure we provide a world class student experience."

News of the ranking - which is derived from a variety of factors, including socialising - comes just a week after St Patrick's Day celebrations, during which police arrested 15 people in the city centre and Holyland areas.

The arrests were for disorderly behaviour, resisting arrest and minor assaults, including assaults on officers, but police said behaviour in the area had generally been better than it had been historically.

Professor Paddy Nixon, Vice-Chancellor and President at Ulster University, said he was "delighted that the quality, talent and dedication of Ulster University staff has been recognised" by the UK survey.

"The experience we give our students is second to none and this award acknowledges that fact on a national level," he said.

Harper Adams University, an agricultural institution, offers the best student experience in the UK, according to THE, which questioned over 15,000 students about their university experience across 22 criteria including teaching, accommodation, facilities and social aspects.

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