Aber drops 39 places in student experience survey

20110213-IMG_0347ABERYSTWYTH University has dropped 39 places in a major national survey of student satisfaction.

The Times Higher Education Student Satisfaction Survey 2013 saw Aberystwyth placed 47th out of 102 universities – down from 8th place last year.

But the University were quick to point out that the data for this year’s survey was collected during the previous academic year, when hundreds of students had to live in bunk rooms at the start of the year after what was described by a University spokesperson as “unprecedented demand for places and particular challenges in providing accommodation”.

The spokesperson highlighted the work about to begin on the £45m Penglais Farm residences project, images of which Aber Student Media exclusively brought you in February. He described the project as “state of the art residences that will provide high quality accommodation for 1000 students”.

Construction work is scheduled to start this summer and the first students are expected to take up residence in September 2014.

“Additionally, the University is currently undergoing an ambitious programme of refurbishment of all its teaching rooms – providing modern and comfortable environments which promote individual and group learning.

“Aberystwyth has consistently proved to be a very popular choice with students”, and has “regularly featured amongst the UK’s top 10 Universities for student satisfaction since the National Student Survey was created in 2005. The University’s popularity is confirmed in the 2012 igraduate survey in which Aberystwyth was in the top 5 in the world as a good place to study.”

Commenting on the table announcement, Professor John Grattan, Pro Vice-Chancellor for Student Experience and International, described league tables as a “useful barometer of success for the University”, but also suggested that they were a “retrospective glance at a fixed point in time”.

“After detailed consultation with our staff and students regarding how they would wish to develop the University, we have embarked on an ambitious Strategic Plan to enhance the student experience and a number of significant capital and resource investments and planned improvements are already well underway. We therefore expect to see Aberystwyth regaining its position within the higher ranks of the THE Student Satisfaction Survey within the period of our ambitious strategic plan.”