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Business & Economy

Students name Sunderland the region’s top university in the Whatuni Student Choice survey

Students have named Sunderland as the top university in the North East, and in the top 20 universities in the UK, in the 2019 Whatuni Student Choice survey.

The WhatUni Student Choice Awards are the only national awards voted for by students, who voted Sunderland number 16 in the UK.

Sunderland has risen higher in the national rankings than any other university in the UK, rising from 93rd position in 2018 to 16th in 2019.

Over 41,000 student reviews from 160 institutions across the UK were submitted to this year’s WhatUni rankings.

As well as elevating Sunderland into the top 20, Sunderland students also voted their university among the top 10 in the UK for Student Support and International support.

Professor Lynne McKenna, dean of the Faculty of Education and Society, represented the University of Sunderland at the annual awards, she says: “Staff from the International Office, Student Journey and our faculties were represented at the WhatUni Student Choice Awards.

“However, these awards are all about our students, and we were very pleased that two of our award-winning students were able to join us too. Kirsty Thompson is studying BA Fashion Design & Promotion, and who recently designed the Mayor of Sunderland’s gown for the Mayor’s Ball, and BA Primary Education student Vicky Graham, who has been awarded the prestigious £10,000 Sir Tom Cowie Scholarship, were on hand to enjoy the event.”

The Whatuni Student Rankings are based on averages taken from thousands of reviews submitted by students and recent graduates and published on The rankings offer prospective students an unbiased, student-led alternative to traditional university ranking systems.

Katie Duncan, head of communications, IDP Connect, who administrate the What Uni review site, says: “In a challenging climate for Higher Education institutions, there is nothing more rewarding than being recognised by their students for delivering such positive experiences. The reviews by current students that make up these nominations are invaluable for prospective students who use them to make decisions about their future.”

The University of Sunderland’s vice-chancellor, Sir David Bell, added: “While league tables cannot tell the whole story, it is always pleasing to see our students comment so positively on their experience at the University of Sunderland.

“We pride ourselves on being a friendly and supportive institution in which students can transform their life chances. Our position in the WhatUni rankings suggests that our work is having a positive impact.”