Through student eyes benchmark
In cooperation with the British Council, Studyportals mystery shopped the world’s top universities – through students’ eyes. Following-up on our study from 2014, when we focused on the World’s Top 500 Universities, this year’s analysis focuses on the top 1,000 universities in the world and takes a regional approach by focusing on the US and Canada, UK and Ireland and Australia and New Zealand. Alongside the macro report of the main findings, we also developed individual reports for each university we researched, which contrasts their scores with those of the regional scores, as well as the World’s Top 500 Universities.
With more than 4.5 million students being globally mobile, the number of students being interested in studying abroad is at a record high. To enable international students to choose the programme that fits them best students have to go through a lengthy and scattered search process. Students rely to a large extent on online information to find their dream study opportunity but the process of gathering information is not always straightforward. Universities display information on their websites in various formats, often using jargon that is complex and unfamiliar to students with international study ambitions. The challenge of filtering information from multiple institutions across many countries is difficult and very time-consuming especially considering the global and intercultural context of the student audience.
It was this challenge which prompted us to analyse the world’s top 500 universities in 2014 through student eyes. Since the initial research was well-received, we decided to expand our research to include the world’s top 1,000 universities in 2015 and produce regional report for the top 500 universities in the US and Canada, UK and Ireland and Australia and New Zealand.
Within the research, a team of international students explored the websites of the world’s top universities. They assessed the official homepages as well as selected programme pages and evaluated the difficulty in finding a predefined set of information. They also contacted the institutions asking a specific set of questions and assessed the replies received. All together more than 40 individual data points of each university’s performance were analysed and rated. This allowed the researchers to measure and compare the world top universities’ performance in terms of online information provision and findability, as well as inquiry response and the follow-up rate.
World’s Top Universities Through Student Eyes
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