A recent report by the Higher Education Policy Institute (HEPI) and London Higher, Living and Learning in London: What the HEPI / Advance HE Student Academic Experience Survey tells us about life in the capital (HEPI Report 158), shows that international students based in London believe that their courses represent good value for money, and provide high rates of happiness, scoring 10/10; more than anywhere else in the UK.

The report summarised the experiences of those studying in London’s higher education institutions. It drills down on how the varying aspects of student life affects the various demographic groups in the UKs diverse capital city. In doing so, it challenges some long standing misconceptions. Pleasingly, London students say they would choose the same course / institution again. They also indicate high levels of satisfaction and are satisfied with their lives in London.

The other findings, allowing a close examination of the satisfaction rates of London students are:

  • International students exceed UK students in believing that their courses represent great value for money. Although international students do pay higher tuition fees, London based international students are more likely to rate their experience as “good” or “very good” when compared to their UK counterparts.
  • Black UK based students appreciate the diversity of their student cohort.
  • International students in small, specialist institutions are generally the happiest, believing that their courses fulfil their expectations. A smaller staff/student ratio and the nature of the specialist provision were flagged as particular reasons for their satisfaction.
  • Over 25s students reported a higher satisfaction that under 21s.
  • Overall satisfaction ratings were further enhanced by UK based students who commute from their family residences in the Home Counties to attend London courses, thus avoiding high accommodation costs.

The HEPI / London Higher report demonstrates that London based students feel more ready for life beyond their university, when compared to students in other areas. This may be due to opportunities provided by their institutions, as well as the unparalleled employment opportunities available in the capital city.

Students who did express dissatisfaction with their London educational experiences, cited the quality of teaching and learning, a lack of in person peer interaction, and cancelation of classes due to industrial action. While Black UK based students are less likely than White UK based students to view their courses as good value for money. This may reflect socio-economic disparity.

Sir Anthony Finkelstein (President of City, University of London) said the HEPI / London Higher report “sets the record straight on the London student experience… It highlights the range and quality of London institutions and the benefits of studying in an incredibly rich and diverse global city,” He was delighted with the positive employability created by attending a London higher education institution.

Diana Beech (Chief Executive of London Higher) observed that London is the area likely to see the largest student growth in the coming years. While Nick Hillman, Director of HEPI, noted concerns about the cost of living in London, but observed that overall, the decision to study in London “is paying off” for most students.

So, if you are considering studying in London, the UK, or at international universities, Education Advisers can help plan your pathway, and we have a multitude of resources on our University Advice website.

Steven, our university consultant with 35+ years of senior leadership and educational experience, leads our University Advice Service and can provide comprehensive bespoke advice, or one-off university services as required.

So, please email steven@educationadvisers.co.uk  or call +44(0)1622 813870. We'd be delighted to hear from you and see how we can help.




Higher Education policy Institute. https://www.hepi.ac.uk/2023/03/09/london-students-are-the-most-satisfied-with-the-student-experience-out-of-all-english-regions/ 9th March 2023

Williams, Tom. Times Higher Education ‘London-based courses seen as ‘best value for money in England’ https://www.timeshighereducation.com/news/london-based-courses-seen-best-value-money-england 9th March 2023.