US the only ‘Big Four’ destination to score above average for student satisfaction

Global Student Satisfaction Report

The US is the only ‘Big Four’ student destination country to score above the global average in terms of student satisfaction. This is according to the world’s most comprehensive university satisfaction survey from Studyportals, Unibuddy and the British Council IELTS. The Global Student Satisfaction Awards is the only global  programme which recognises the best universities from the perspective of students.

The Global Student Satisfaction Report draws on over one hundred and twenty-six thousand student reviews of institutions from over a hundred countries.   

US institutions are excelling at seamless admissions processes, enhanced online classrooms, and rich student-teacher interactions. Overall global student satisfaction rose to 4.21 out of 5 (from 4.06 in 2021). Overall student satisfaction in the US, meanwhile, stands at 4.32.  

Edwin van Rest, co-founder and CEO of Studyportals, notes that there is a different political climate in the US now compared to 2021. “The State Department has done a lot of work to make international students a priority, and the climate is more welcoming.” 

The US’ main competitors for talent, the UK, Australia and Canada, however, were rated below the global average by students. 

Hungary is the global lead for overall student satisfaction, with a focus on excellent admissions and a high-quality student experience. Additionally, Germany, Spain, and Portugal have earned their spots in the top 10 countries with impressive overall student satisfaction ratings.

Student satisfaction in top study destinations:







Uptick in student satisfaction post-pandemic

The survey showed student satisfaction with university education has increased post-pandemic as students return to campus. Survey results also show that huge strides have been made in improving the online classroom experience. 

Although still the lowest-rated category, satisfaction with the online classroom rose the most for any category measured. Satisfaction with online learning has risen more than 7% since 2021.  

Interventions that universities used to create a feeling of community made a big difference to students. These include increasing interaction in class, virtual campuses and discussion forums.

Students focused on career-readiness

Another key insight from reviews is that students are incredibly focused on being career-ready. Students want practical experience, industry exposure, and the opportunity to work on real-world projects. Many students touched on the importance of industry networking events. Others mentioned professors with links to industry and the importance of keeping up to date with emerging trends like Artificial intelligence.  

2023 Global Student Satisfaction Awards – leading universities

The University of Navarra in Spain was the overall Global Student Satisfaction Award winner. “For the University of Navarra, it is an immense joy to receive this award. For us, offering students an outstanding academic and extra-academic experience is a key goal of our everyday work,” says Ana Beatriz Delgado, Director of the International Relations Office at the University of Navarra. 




Overall satisfaction   University of Navarra  Spain 
Student Diversity University of Klagenfurt Austria 
Online Classroom Experience University of the People US 
Admission Process University West Sweden 
Quality of Student Life Semmelweis University Hungary 
Student-Teacher Interaction Denison University US 
Career Development Dublin City University Ireland 


Universities and higher education professionals can leverage the Global Student Satisfaction Report to understand where they stand in the global landscape. The report offers actionable insights to enhance the quality of education based on genuine student feedback. 

About Studyportals 

Studyportals is the most comprehensive study choice platform featuring 250,000 English-taught programmes from 3,750+ institutions. Over 50 million students use Studyportals platforms each year to find and compare their study options across borders. Our mission is to empower the world to choose education by making study choice transparent globally. 

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