Lloyds Bank

Loughborough University races to the top of the Lloyds Bank Quality of Student Life Survey

03 October 2014

 

With students returning to university after the summer break, the second annual University Quality of Student Life Survey by Lloyds Bank has found that students at Loughborough University have the best quality of student life. The survey aims to quantify where student satisfaction and living standards are highest by ranking individual institutions' performance across a range of indicators. Last year Loughborough University finished as runner-up to Durham University, which has slipped two places to third.

Loughborough University comes top by scoring consistently high in several categories:

  • Nine out of ten students (89%) are satisfied with their course, higher than the national average (86%)
  • 94% of final year graduates find employment (or carry on studying), with an annual full time median salary of £22,000
  • Loughborough has some of the best sporting facilities amongst British universities all within one campus
  • Loughborough students rate their social life as one of the best in Britain, with Leicester and Nottingham on their doorstep
  • However, Loughborough has some of most expensive accommodation amongst British universities

In second place is Bath University, with a significant improvement on its sixth position from last year’s survey. A total of 93% of students are satisfied with their course – the highest amongst all universities. Over 94% find employment or another course after graduating and students report high levels of satisfaction with their social life. Bath students also live in an area with a relatively low crime rate and on a night out, they have over 100 bars and pubs to choose from.

Nitesh Patel, economist at Lloyds Bank, comments:

“Loughborough has raced to the top of the Lloyds Bank Quality of Student Life Survey. The University scored consistently high scores across most indicators. Loughborough students are happy with the quality of their course, which provides them with excellent employment prospects, while also benefitting from a strong social life. This has helped them clinch the top spot as students of Loughborough enjoy the best quality of life amongst UK universities for 2014.”

Top ten

The top ten institutions with the best quality of life are a mix of the ancient universities of Cambridge (6th place) and Oxford (8th)) and the relatively new, such as Loughborough and Bath; as well as Glasgow and Dundee from the north of the Border. (See Table 1)

Most of these universities score strongly with final year undergraduates being satisfied with the quality of their course and an average of 93% finding employment (or another course) on completion, with a median annual starting salary of around £22,600. Many of these institutions have excellent sporting facilities as measured by their position in the BUCS Overall Championship.

Students of University of Northumbria (7th in the ranking) not only have an excellent quality of life but living does not come at a high cost with the least expensive university owned or sponsored accommodation in Britain.

Key facts

  • Universities of Bath and Keele were rated as providing the most satisfactory university experience with 93% of final year students satisfied with the quality of the course1; significantly above the national average of 86%.
  • Students at the University of Northumbria have the cheapest institution owned or sponsored accommodation2, paying an average £1,550 per academic year; followed by the universities of Swansea (£2,500), Teeside (£2,800) and Staffordshire (£2,900).
  • The five universities with the most expensive university owned or sponsored accommodation are all in London; with the average annual cost ranging from £5,900 at University College to £8,250 at City University.
    • Undergraduates at Swansea University had the least expensive rooms in private rentals3 with an average annual cost of £2,250. The most expensive private rooms are occupied by students at the London School of Economics (£7,000).
    • The highest full time salaries are earned by students from the London School of Economics (LSE) where graduates reported a median salary (after 6 months in employment) of £27,3885 in 2012. The earning power of LSE students is followed by those from London South Bank (£26,491), Cambridge (£25,797), King's College, London (£25,770), Glasgow (£25,111) and Oxford (£24,718).
    • The University of Sheffield came out top for the best social life7 in a survey on student experience. Followed by the universities of Leeds, Newcastle, Durham, Manchester, Dundee and Swansea. Also in the same survey, students at Dundee University and University of Durham had access to the cheapest shops, bars and other amenities8.
    • The area around Robert Gordon University and University of Aberdeen have a crime rate (burglary, robbery and violence) of 4.7 per 1,000 residents10 – the lowest amongst university towns. They are followed by the University of Dundee (5.5 per 1,000 residents).

Table 1: Lloyds Bank University Quality of Life Rankings – the top 30 Universities 2014:

 

University

Town/City

Ranking 2014

Loughborough University

Loughborough

1

University of Bath

Bath

2

University of Durham

Durham

3

University of Newcastle upon Tyne

Newcastle

4

University of Glasgow

Glasgow

5

University of Cambridge

Cambridge

6

University of Northumbria at Newcastle

Newcastle

7

University of Oxford

Oxford

8

University of Dundee

Dundee

9

University of Exeter

Exeter

10

University of Edinburgh

Edinburgh

11

Keele University

Keele

12

University of Aberdeen

Aberdeen

13

Swansea University

Swansea

14

University of Nottingham

Nottingham

15

University of Sheffield

Sheffield

16

Lancaster University

Lancaster

17

University of Leeds

Leeds

18

University of East Anglia

Norwich

19

University of Birmingham

Birmingham

20

Sheffield Hallam University

Sheffield

21

University of Surrey

Guildford

22

University of Warwick

Coventry

23

Robert Gordon University

Aberdeen

24

University of Southampton

Southampton

25

University of Portsmouth

Portsmouth

26

Bangor University

Bangor

27

University of Reading

Reading

28

University of Manchester

Manchester

29

Nottingham Trent University

Nottingham

30

Source: Lloyds Bank

Table 2: Lloyds Bank University Quality of Life Rankings – the top 10 2013 and 2014:

 

University

2014 Ranking

2013 Ranking

Loughborough University

1

2

University of Bath

2

6

University of Durham

3

1

University of Newcastle upon Tyne

4

4

University of Glasgow

5

-

University of Cambridge

6

3

University of Northumbria at Newcastle

7

11

University of Oxford

8

5

University of Dundee

9

-

University of Exeter

10

14

 

Source: Lloyds Bank

Table 3: University with the Best Quality of Life in each category:

 

Variable

University

Town/City

% of students satisfied with their course (93%)

Bath and Keele

Bath and Keele

Least expensive institution owned or sponsored accommodation (average £1,550 per academic year)

Northumbria

Newcastle

Least expensive private rental rooms (average £2,250 per academic year)

Swansea

Swansea

% of students indicating they are working (or in further studies) 97.7%

Robert Gordon

Edinburgh

Median full time earnings £27,388 (after six months)

London School of Economics

London

Sports facilities – BUCS score (5,329 points)

Loughborough

Loughborough

Good social life (survey score 6.4 out of 7)

Sheffield

Sheffield

Cheap shops, bars and other amenities (survey score 6.0  out of 7)

Dundee

Dundee

Number of pubs/bars in the city - 245

Manchester

Manchester

Crime rate per 1,000 residents – 4.7

Aberdeen and Robert Gordon

Aberdeen and Edinburgh

See full release