Welsh universities and colleges consistently rank highly in international tables, cementing their position as leading institutions in global education. In 2022 and 2023 our institutions have continued to shine across a range of metrics, including student satisfaction, quality of education, sustainability, and career prospects.
In the 2022 National Student Survey (NSS), students at Welsh universities showed a satisfaction rate with their courses of 76.8%, which is above the UK average. This result reflects the high-quality teaching and support provided by Welsh institutions.
In the 2023 Complete University Guide Student Satisfaction category, Wrexham University and Aberystwyth University ranked 2nd and 3rd respectively and a total of four Welsh universities were ranked in the top 30.
Quality of Education
Welsh universities and colleges are renowned for providing high-quality education, and this is reflected in their rankings. In the Times Higher Education (THE) World University Rankings 2022, Cardiff University was ranked in the top 200 institutions globally, whilst Swansea University and Bangor University ranked in the top 500 globally. These three universities also featured in the 2023 Centre for World University Rankings table, where Cardiff University ranked 17th in the UK, Swansea University 39th, and Bangor University 48th 4 out of 98 UK universities ranked.
Welsh universities performed extremely well in the Lecturers and Teaching Quality category of the Whatuni Student Choice Awards. Aberystwyth University was ranked 1st, Wrexham University 2nd, Bangor University 5th, Swansea University 8th, and University of Wales Trinity Saint David in 9th place.
Wales is known for its commitment to sustainability, and its universities and colleges are no exception. In the 2022 People and Planet University League, which assesses UK universities on their environmental and ethical performance, Cardiff Metropolitan University was ranked 1st in the UK for sustainability. The People and Planet University League awards institutions with scores as degree classifications. Bangor University and Swansea University were ranked as 1st class universities, whilst University of Wales Trinity Saint David, Wrexham University, and Cardiff University were ranked with a 2:1 for their approach to sustainability.
Welsh universities and colleges provide their students with the skills and experience needed to succeed in the job market. In the 2022 StudentCrowd Top 20 UK Universities for Job Prospects, Cardiff University and Cardiff Metropolitan University featured highly in the list, ranking 7th and 16th respectively.
In the latest Higher Education Statistics Agency (HESA) data release, 95% of known graduates from Welsh universities in the academic year 2020/21, were in full or part-time employment, further study, or pursuing other ventures within 15 months after the completion of their studies.
For three successive years, the University of South Wales (USW) has ranked highly for supporting graduate start-up businesses. Figures from HESA show USW is also the 11th out of 220 universities across the UK for new graduate business support. In 2021-22 USW supported 123 new businesses.
Cardiff, the capital of Wales, was ranked 1st in the UK for student affordability by the Natwest Student Living Index for cities however the cost of living across all of Wales is lower than in other parts of the UK.
Overall, the success of Welsh universities and colleges in international ranking tables is a testament to the high-quality education, excellent support and facilities, commitment to sustainability, and strong focus on employability and career prospects that these institutions provide. As these institutions continue to innovate and invest in their students' success, we can expect to see them climb even higher in the rankings in the years to come.
Find out more about Wales' universities