The happiest international students

International students to Norway post reviews that are overwhelmingly positive, writes professor Ole Petter Ottersen, rector of the University of Oslo.

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«Norway, Ireland and Poland have the happiest international students.»

This was the headline of the press release that was issued by StudyPortals a few days ago. The same press release announced that the University of Oslo is one of 14 European universities that have received an Outstanding International Student Satisfaction award. This is good news for a university that aspires to excel in internationalization and student mobility.

StudyPortals awards the universities that «host the happiest international students» as judged by reviews left on the student experience platform For 2016, international students have expressed the highest satisfaction in Norway, Ireland and Poland.

According to the press release, the awards are based on 15,965 reviews that international students submitted during the academic year 2015-2016. The winning country is Norway, with an average student satisfaction score of 9.3 – just ahead of Ireland with a score of 9.2.

According to StudyPortals, international students in Norway have emphasized the high level of education and the variety of classes. «They have also noted the helpful, open, and knowledgeable lecturers, along with the great student community and beautiful nature that make the experience even more pleasant.»

We should take at heart the fact that international students to Norway post reviews that are over-whelmingly positive.

Ole Petter Ottersen

The results of the StudyPortals International Student Satisfaction Awards 2016 were announced on September 15 during the annual EAIE conference in Liverpool.

While 15,965 comments might seem impressive at first glance, this number represents but a miniscule fraction of the international student population. Due caution is thus required when interpreting the data at hand.

Still we should take at heart the fact that international students to Norway post reviews that are overwhelmingly positive, and that the University of Oslo stands out as one of the leading institutions in Europe when it comes to student satisfaction.  This inspires and motivates to further efforts to promote student mobility.

Student exchange builds trust and understanding across borders. And I can draw on my own experience when I say that studies abroad bring new and invaluable perspectives and generate networks that may endure for decades if not for life.

We should facilitate outward mobility. But we should also support «internationalization at home», by making our universities attractive to international students and by urging them to make an imprint on our own campus.  The Student Satisfaction Award indicates that we are on the right track.   

These are the 14 universities that received an Outstanding International Student Satisfaction award:

  • University College Cork, Ireland.
  • Wrocław University of Technology, Poland.
  • University of Heidelberg – Germany.
  • University of Bamberg – Germany.
  • University of Oslo – Norway.
  • Masaryk University – Czech Republic.
  • University of Tartu – Estonia.
  • Lund University – Sweden.
  • Technical University of Denmark (DTU) – Denmark.
  • University of Tampere – Finland.
  • AGH University of Science & Technology – Poland.
  • University of Murcia – Spain.
  • Mary Immaculate College, University of Limerick – Ireland.
  • University of Iceland – Iceland.

First published on rector Ole Petter Ottersen`s blog

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