STAFF at the University of Huddersfield are feeling on top of the world.
And they mean that literally, because they have just been voted number one in a global survey which asked international students to rate their learning and living experiences.
Some 48,000 students voted and Huddersfield emerged head and shoulders above the rest of the field, scoring 87.4%, almost five percentage points ahead of all other universities rated.
It was rated both number one in the UK and number one in the world.
The survey was the highly regarded International Student Barometer (IBS) carried out by the International Graduate Insight Group, an independent benchmarking and consultancy service for education.
The summer 2011 survey covered UK Higher Education institutions, with 31,000 responses from international students, and 65 international HE institutions, with more than 40,000 responses.
The ISB is an online survey, run since 2005, which covers three key aspects of the student experience: learning, living and support.
Students are asked more than 60 questions.
They are asked for their views on issues such as course organisation, expert lecturers, library and technology facilities.
The survey also looks at the cost and quality of accommodation, social facilities, catering and the careers service.
Huddersfield scored particularly highly on employability and work experience, with students being given the chance to earn money during their studies.
The University’s teachers and courses also scored well, with the clean, modern campus earning high marks.
David Taylor, Dean of International Development, said: “We are delighted that our international students rate us so highly.
“Their success is very important to us, as we know how difficult it can be to leave home and study in a foreign country, often in a second language, and how important their future careers are to them.
“The international students contribute a lot to student life and to the culture of the town and it is important they leave us with positive thoughts about the university.
“We are grateful for their kind appreciation and we hope that our new International Student Support Team and the new Student Centre, which will be built over the coming year, will help us to stay at the top.”
Some of the comments in the survey included: “All the staff in this Uni are very kind and willing to help us in both study aspects and living aspects,” from a Chinese student and “One is made to feel comfortable and treated as part of family with the maximum support always available,” from a Zimbabwean.
Huddersfield University has 2,500 international students from 120 countries and they make up about 10% of the student population.
Numbers include 800 from China, 20 from Vietnam – a growing market – and a handful from northern Iraq.
THESE are the countries which currently have students at the University of Huddersfield:
Afghanistan, Algeria, Angola, Australia, Austria, Bahamas, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Barbados, Belgium, Bermuda, Brazil, British Virgin Islands, Brunei, Bulgaria, Burma, Cameroon, Canada, Canary Islands, Cayman Islands, Chile, China, Colombia, Congo (Democratic Republic), Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Dominica, Egypt, Equatorial Guinea, Eritrea, Estonia, Finland, France, Gambia, Germany, Ghana, Gibraltar, Greece, Greenland, Grenada, Guadeloupe, Guyana, Hong Kong, Hungary
India, Indonesia, Iran, Iraq, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Ivory Coast, Jamaica, Japan, Jordan, Kazakhstan, Kenya, Korea (South), Kuwait, Latvia, Libyan AR, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Macao, Malawi, Malaysia, Mali, Malta, Martinique, Mauritius, Mexico, Moldova, Morocco, Namibia, Nepal, Netherlands, New Zealand, Nigeria, Norway, Oman.
Pakistan, Philippines, Poland, Portugal, Qatar, Romania, Russia, Rwanda, Saudi Arabia, Senegal, Seychelles, Singapore, Slovakia, Somalia,South Africa, Spain, Sri Lanka, St Vincent, St. Kitts-Nevis, Sudan, Swaziland, Sweden, Switzerland, Syria, Taiwan, Tanzania, Thailand, Trinidad and Tobago, Tunisia, Turkey, Turks and Caicos Islands, Uganda, Ukraine, United Arab Emirates, United States of America, Vietnam, Yemen, Zambia, Zimbabwe.