The University of East Anglia has risen two places in the latest Complete University Guide league table to twelfth place, its highest ever national ranking.
The Guide ranks 129 UK universities, 14 Arts, Drama and Music colleges and 70 subjects by quality measures important to students, such as Student Satisfaction, Graduate Prospects and Entry Requirements.
Professor David Richardson, UEA Vice-Chancellor told UEA’s student newspaper, Concrete, “We’re very proud to be ranked one of the UK’s leading universities in this prestigious league table.
“The Guide uses an extremely comprehensive set of measures, making the results a particularly gratifying reflection of the hard work of our staff and students alike.”
However, this ranking comes alongside the news that UEA has ranked 15th in the Times Higher Education (THE) Student Experience Survey, a full eight places lower than last year. In fact, since 2012, when UEA held the number one spot in the survey, it has regressed almost every year.
During this period, UEA and the Union of UEA Students have suffered a catalogue of negative national, and occasionally international, press, most notably 2015’s #SombreroGate scandal, in which the union banned Norwich-based Mexican restaurant Pedro’s from giving out sombreros at the Welcome Week Societies’ Fayre on grounds of cultural appropriation, and 2016’s confusion over whether graduates would be allowed to throw their mortarboards at graduation.
Whilst some supported the union’s move, many thought the union had gone too far, and the surrounding media storm was picked up as far away as New Zealand.
More recently, the installation of three Antony Gormley statues around the UEA campus has caused controversy, mainly due to the unorthodox position of one atop of the library. Students have spoken out against the university’s controversial placement of the statue, many believing the statue gave the appearance of someone about to commit suicide, one even asking on Instagram if it was some sort of “sick joke”.
A UEA spokesperson has defended the decision, saying the pieces were “thought-provoking and offer both spectacle and surprise.”
We spoke to some final year UEA students to ask what they thought about the Gorman statues, and why they thought the university had fallen in the THE Student Satisfaction Survey during their time at university.