Students Staff

18 September 2015

Essex in student experience elite according to The Times and The Sunday Times Good University Guide


The outstanding student experience delivered by the University of Essex and its research strengths are highlighted in The Times and The Sunday Times Good University Guide 2016.

The Guide, the definitive overview of the very best UK universities, ranks Essex in the top 10 for student experience, top 20 for teaching quality, and in the top 25 for research.

The Guide, which ranked Essex 35th overall, said: “The University of Essex is among the 10 fastest-growing universities in the UK. Students have pushed Essex into the top 10 nationally under the Guide’s analysis of this year’s National Student Survey, a rise of two places on last year. For student experience, just seven institutions achieved higher scores.

“Essex has moved into the top 25 for research, with almost 80% of a large submission rated world-leading or internationally excellent.”

In the subject tables Essex is ranked in the top 10 for politics, and the top 20 for Economics; History of Art; Philosophy; Drama, Dance and Cinematics and American Studies.

Pro-Vice-Chancellor (Education), Professor Aletta Norval, said: ““Our performance in The Times and The Sunday Times Good University Guide 2016 underlines our commitment to excellence in education and excellence in research.

The Guide shows how much our students value the student experience we offer, including our outstanding extra-curricular opportunities. It is particularly pleasing that the benefits of the research-led education offered at Essex are recognised so strongly by our students, ranking the University 15th in the UK for the quality of our teaching.

“We have ambitious plans for the future, and our new £26 million student centre and library extension as well as the landmark £22 million Essex Business School building are now open and will welcome our new students for the first time this year.”

President of the Students' Union at the University of Essex, Adrian Chira, added: “The Students’ Union is really proud of the amazing student experience we provide at Essex and we want to make sure that we continue to improve and deliver on our promises. The Students’ Union is a family; we value each individual student and we want to keep giving them incredible opportunities.”

The Guide highlighted the University’s plans for the future and its success in attracting applications: “Having spent many years trying to live it down, Essex is now embracing its radical past, telling prospective applicants that it welcomes “rebels with a cause”. It appears to be working: applications are up 15% in 2015, seven times the national average — good news for a university that plans to increase student numbers by 50% over five years.”

The University has been in the top 10 for student satisfaction according to the National Student Survey (NSS) for the past three years. Ranked joint second by the NSS out of mainstream UK universities this year, overall satisfaction at Essex stands at 92% - well above the national average.

The Research Excellence Framework (REF) in December 2014 re-confirmed Essex’s position as one of the UK’s top research universities, with the quality of our research in politics once again being rated the best in Britain.

This year’s Quality Assurance Agency (QAA) review also highlighted Essex’s high-quality learning experience, strong extra-curricular opportunities, close working relationships with students and extensive support for developing employment skills.

The QAA review commended the University’s approach to peer mentoring, the personal tutor system and the development of study skills, as well as the academic staff development programme, as examples of the University’s approach to improving students’ learning opportunities.

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