Centre for Vocational Education Research LSE RSS Email Facebook Twitter


SERC/Urban and Spatial Programme Discussion Paper
Student Satisfaction, League Tables and University Applications
Stephen Gibbons, Eric Neumayer and Richard Perkins
September 2013
Paper No' SERCDP0142:
Full Paper (pdf)

JEL Classification: I2; D8

Tags: student satisfaction; higher education; information; university choice

We investigate the impact of information about student satisfaction on university choice, using data from the UK’s National Student Survey (NSS) and on applications to undergraduate degree courses. We show that the NSS has a small, statistically significant effect on applications at the university-subject level. This effect operates primarily through the influence of the NSS scores on a university’s position in separately published, subject-specific, league tables, implying greater salience of league table rankings. The impact of rankings is greater amongst the most able students, for universities with entry standards in the upper-middle tier, and for subject-departments facing more competition.

This paper has been published as:
'Game of Zones: the Political Economy of Conservation Areas', Gabriel M. Ahlfeldt, Kristoffer Moeller, Sevrin Waights and Nicolai Wendland, The Economic Journal, Volume 127, Issue 605, October 2017