Verified student reviews can be hugely valuable for prospective students. They give you a more personal view of a university while also revealing information that often goes unsaid in a university brochure or open day.
Student reviews are even more important in uncertain times, and 2021 was a difficult year. Firstly, students had to adapt to a confusing blend of in-person and remote teaching as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic. Secondly, many international students delayed study as a result of border closures. Finally, those who did graduate entered into one of the most competitive graduate jobs markets in recent years.
To make sense of this challenging year, we analysed the thousands of verified student reviews on the EDUopinions site. In each review on our site, students score their university on seven factors: facilities, professors, location, student life, accommodation, internationalism, and career prospects. This data forms the EDUopinions Student Reviews Guide. In our reports, we reveal the top countries and cities for students in Europe and the best degree programmes for job prospects.
In this article, we’ll go through some of the highlights of our reports. From the worst programmes for careers to surprise entrants for the most popular city, these are the most interesting things we’ve learned from our verified student reviews.
The Top Countries for Students in Europe
The top scorers for the most popular country for students shouldn’t come as surprise. Institutions from France, the United Kingdom and the Netherlands collectively make up close to 25% of the top 100 universities in the world.
Further down the list, though, there are anomalies. For example, Italy manages to get ahead of Germany thanks to high scores in student life and university location. Considering that Germany hosts the highest number of international students in Europe, the fact that it didn’t reach higher in the list is a surprise.
Elsewhere, we also revealed the countries that may end up being future popular countries for students. One of these is Poland, a country that has seen an increasing number of international students in recent years. From the analysis of our verified student reviews, students had a very good opinion of the country’s internationalism and university accommodation. Because of this, we predict it could rank highly in years to come.
Another rising star is Switzerland, a country which received the highest scores of all cities for accommodation and internationalism. The latter is unsurprising given that 25% of Switzerland’s population is comprised of foreign nationals.
Top Cities for Students in Europe
The top 10 cities for students in Europe is overwhelmingly occupied by capital cities. However, there are a couple of outliers. In these cities, students particularly praised university location and overall student life.
One of these is Glasgow. It’s the only Scottish city to make the top ten – Edinburgh is notably absent. Students gave it the highest mark of any city in our list for its universities locations – both the University of Glasgow and the University of Strathclyde are in the city centre.
Another interesting highlight is Amsterdam’s extremely low score for career prospects. The capital of the Netherlands is a popular choice for students given its laidback atmosphere, top-ranked universities and compact size. But graduates also enter a challenging job market. In the Netherlands, it can be difficult to compete with highly-educated and fluent-English-speaking Dutch students.
The Best Degrees for Job Prospects
It’s clear that the global disruption of the past two years has had an effect on the outcome of this category. However, our increasing reliance on cutting-edge technology is also impacting the degrees that lead to promising jobs. Both Data Science and Computer Science appear in the top five degrees with the best job prospects.
We also examined our verified student reviews for those degrees with the lowest scores for career prospects. This ranking tells an interesting story, with a higher number of humanities degrees represented in comparison to STEM. One outlier is Civil Engineering. As with the overall graduate jobs market, the Covid pandemic may have affected job availability in this area, accounting for its low score.
If it wasn’t already obvious, events such as the Covid-19 pandemic have had a severe impact on students. We can see from our verified student reviews that certain degrees are associated with higher chances of job success, while others offer more lukewarm opportunities. Additionally, we know that students see student life and location as some of the biggest identifiers of a good university experience. Cities and countries that tend to do well in these areas excel above other locations.
Discover more surprising data from our verified student reviews in our full reports: