The university came out ahead of the University of Edinburgh and University of Glasgow to scoop the accolade, which was presented by comedian Hugh Dennis at a glitzy black tie ceremony in London, attended by higher education representatives from across the UK.
“We’re very happy indeed. It reflects the tremendous work that the University of Exeter’s been doing in terms of international engagement”
The remaining categories were awarded based on averages taken from thousands of reviews submitted by students and published on UK higher education review website whatuni.com, part of the Hotcourses group, which also runs study abroad website HotcoursesAbroad.com and offshoot language sites.
More than 20,000 students’ views were taken into account across ten categories: Accommodation, City Life, Clubs & Societies, Courses & Lecturers, Job Prospects, Student Union, Uni Facilities, Support Services, International, and an Overall rating which counts towards the University of the Year title.
“We’re very happy indeed,” Shaun Curtis, director of international at the University of Exeter, told The PIE News. “I think it reflects the tremendous work that the University of Exeter’s been doing in terms of international engagement and the wonderful experience we offer our students.”
He added that the university, which recruits from 130 countries, is keen to grow its international population further.
“We want to make sure we have a very diverse international population by level, by country, by programme, and we have the investment to do that, so I’m quite confident we’ll be doing that in the near future,” he said.
Loughborough University was crowned University of the Year, as well as coming out on top in the Accommodation and Student Union categories.
The University of Exeter team proudly show off their International University of the Year award.
Professor Robert Allison, Vice-Chancellor of Loughborough University, said winning the award was a “proud moment”.
“The award is an opportunity for all members of the university community to celebrate and for me to thank everyone for their contribution to our success,” he commented.
Looking at how students ranked their universities, Whatuni found that overall student satisfaction is up 3.4% compared to last year, though accommodation saw a year-on-year drop.
Interestingly, international students appeared to have a positive impact on student satisfaction, as universities where international students make up over 18% of the student population performed better overall.
For the full list of winners in the 2015 Whatuni Student Choice Awards, please click here. See photos from the night in The PIE Gallery.