International students studying in Europe are most satisfied with their university experience in Ireland, according to StudyPortals, an online global study choice platform.

According to the findings, which are based on more than 17,000 reviews posted during the past academic year to the student experience website, students appreciated Irish universities for their community atmospheres, innovative programs, support structures, multicultural mix and vivid student life.

Ireland’s Maynooth University was honored with StudyPortals’ top Outstanding International Student Satisfaction Award, while the National University of Ireland, University of Limerick, and University College Cork all received the Excellent prize.

Below Ireland in the poll were Finland, Sweden and Denmark as the European countries where international students were most satisfied. The UK came in 10th and, of the 18 countries evaluated, France came in last, with complaints against poor student services and excessive bureaucracy. 

StudyPortals CEO Edwin van Rest told the Independent that it was increasingly important for schools to focus on making sure students have the best possible experience.

“In the long-term, university reputation is no longer enough to attract the best talent, and students expect their universities to also offer a good service level, a strong international community, promising careers perspectives and a return on their education investment,” he said.

‘A key aspect in the stellar Irish performance is the welcome that Irish people extend to incoming students," Kevin Whelan, Director of the University of Notre Dame’s Irish Program told IrishCentral.

"There is no knee-jerk Anti-Americanism in the country. In twenty years working with Notre Dame in Ireland, I have never met a ‘No’ when we ask for help in immersing our students in real Irish life: from the GAA to Charities, from the universities to the Catholic church, from hotels to entrepreneurs, from the Abbey Theatre to the walls of Derry, we have met nothing only kindness, support and positivity."

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