York St John University tops survey for postgraduate research experience

Published: 12/07/2018

The 2018 Advance HE Postgraduate Research Experience Survey (PRES) has ranked York St John University first in three categories.

York St John came first in the overall, retention and assessment categories.

The survey is the only UK higher education sector-wide survey to gain insight from postgraduate research students about their learning experiences. The latest survey, which received just under 17,000 respondents from 63 UK and international institutions, placed York St John in first place overall and also first in retention and assessment categories.

Areas covered by the survey include supervision, skills development, learning resource, research culture, viva and thesis support, professional development opportunities and overall satisfaction. The results are used to enhance the support and services offered to postgraduate research students.

Catherine Heinemeyer, who gained her practice-led PhD in Performance and Media Production in 2017, spoke of her experience at York St John:

“As an arts practitioner, I never pictured myself doing a PhD. Yet when I became aware of a funded opportunity to undertake practice-based research at York St John University, I felt this was a path I needed to explore. Four years later I am overwhelmingly glad I did so. Interdisciplinary thinking is an integral part of the atmosphere at York St John and my supervisors had a wealth of both academic and artistic expertise.  

“York St John’s relationships with other local organisations has been vital to my experience – in fact my PhD was co-hosted by York Theatre Royal, giving me the opportunity to develop as a performer and practitioner. As a result, I have shared my time with a supportive community of postgraduate researchers from a wide variety of disciplines.”

Professor Andy Smith MBE, Pro-Vice-Chancellor for Research and Impact at York St John University said:

“It’s hugely gratifying to know that our postgraduate students consider York St John to have the expertise, facilities and support they need to thrive in their studies and early careers. All our academic staff work incredibly hard to cement the University’s reputation as being a progressive, flourishing institution and while we’re very proud of these latest PRES results, complacency will never be an option. We will continue to strive to deliver the best – and offer the greatest experience possible for each and every future postgraduate student who walks through the doors of York St John University.”

Find out more about the Advance HE Postgraduate Research Experience Survey.

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