Oxford shares top spot with smaller universities for happiest students

Which? University, a new free independent website launched today, reveals Oxford shares the top spot for most satisfied students with smaller universities.

Neath Port Talbot College and Ruskin College share the highest student satisfaction rating (89%) with Oxford University. They join 41 other universities and colleges whose average student satisfaction scores are rated as high among the 262 featured on the Which? University website. 

Launched today at Westminster City School with Universities Minister David Willetts and NUS President Liam Burns, Which? University features details of almost 30,000 courses and 262 universities and colleges.

Which? University can be used to find the best universities for sports, arts, political scene and nightlife, as rated by students.

  • Universities in northern and Scottish cities were rated the best for nightlife with Northumbria University (Newcastle), Liverpool University and Newcastle University coming top.
  • The highest rated universities for arts were in the south, including Arts University College at Bournemouth and Goldsmiths University.
  • Loughborough, Bath and Stirling top the list of universities for sports.
  • The University of London’s School for Oriental and African studies ranks the highest for having the strongest political scene.

It also reveals eight universities in the capital ranking in the top ten for graduate salaries, with the London School of Economics the top with an average annual salary of almost £29,000.

Which? executive director, Richard Lloyd, said:

“It’s worrying how many people are making one of the biggest decisions of their lives without proper guidance or advice. Higher tuition fees mean the choice of university can have huge implications for graduates’ futures and finances.  That’s why we’ve launched Which? University so that people have free access to impartial information and can more easily choose the right course and university for them.”

Universities Minister David Willetts said:

“Choosing the right course and the right university is an important, and often daunting, decision. I want prospective students to have all relevant information at their disposal.

“The Government is making more raw data about university courses available than ever before. The Which? University site can serve a really important role, using their expertise to present the information in innovative and easy to digest formats. Anything that helps people to zero in on the best course for their needs and ambitions is a valuable tool.”



  1. Which? University is available at www.which.co.uk/university 
  2. The free, independent website features details of almost 30,000 courses and 262 universities and colleges.  It will use data from official sources including UCAS, the Higher Education Statistics Agency, National Student Survey and Destination of Leavers of Higher Education survey alongside insight and comments from students.  


Student satisfaction:

The student satisfaction score is the average satisfaction rating from the latest available National Student Survey (2011). 

The top five places for student satisfaction are:

  1. University of Oxford, Neath Port Talbot College and Ruskin College (89% student score)
  2. University of Cambridge (88% student score)
  3. Tameside College, Central School of Speech and Drama University of London, University of St Andrews (86% student score)
  4. Harper Adams University College, University of Bath, St Helens College (85% student score)
  5. Leeds College of Art, New College Durham, Institute of Education, University of London, Keele University and University of Glasgow (84% student score)

Top Universities for sports, arts, political scene and nightlife:

An online survey for Which? by YouthSight of 9604 undergraduates, was carried out between 12th June – 6th July.

Top universities for sports, as rated by students:

Loughborough University
University of Bath
University of Stirling
Brunel University
Durham University
Leeds Metropolitan University
Cardiff Metropolitan University (UWIC)
University of Chichester
University of Birmingham
University of Dundee
Northumbria University

Top universities for arts, as rated by students:

Arts University College at Bournemouth
Goldsmiths, University of London
University College Falmouth
University of the Arts London
Bath Spa University
University of Cambridge
University of Oxford
De Montfort University
University of St Andrews

Top universities with the strongest political scene as rated by students:

School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London
London School of Economics and Political Science, University of London
University of Oxford
Goldsmiths, University of London
University of Cambridge
University of Sussex
University of Birmingham
University of Glasgow
University College London, University of London
Queen’s University Belfast

Top universities for nightlife as rated by students:  

Northumbria University
University of Liverpool
Newcastle University
Liverpool John Moores University
University of Manchester
University of Leeds
Glasgow Caledonian University
University of Sussex
University of Strathclyde
University College London, University of London

Graduate salaries:

Graduate salary data comes from the Higher Education Statistics Agency (Destinations of Leavers of Higher Education survey 2005/06 – 2009/10).

Top 10 universities ranked by average annual salary

  1. London School of Economics £28,968
  2. Imperial College London £28,831
  3. St George’s London £27,015
  4. University College London £25,020
  5. Royal Veterinary College London £24,936
  6. University of Cambridge £24,926
  7. King’s College London £24,798
  8. University of Oxford £24,773
  9. Queen Mary London £23,961
  10. City University London £23,674

Top 10 subjects ranked by average yearly salary

  1. Clinical Medicine 31,383
  2. Clinical Dentistry 29,664
  3. Botany 28,591
  4. Pre-Clinical Medicine 28,397
  5. Chemical, Process & Energy Engineering 28,219
  6. Others in Medicine & Dentistry 27,931
  7. Operational Research 26,776
  8. Biotechnology and Industrial Biotechnology 26,309
  9. Clinical Veterinary Medicine & Dentistry 25,885
  10. Economics 25,717

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