Great Food at Leeds has helped the University of Leeds rise to third place in the UK in a major survey that asks students about their experience while studying. The University also scored highly for its campus environment, facilities and extra-curricular activities.

The Times Higher Education Student Experience Survey goes beyond the usual measures to ask students about the details of university life that matter to them the most.

Simon Wood, our Head of Food Development, has been identified as one of the key influencers to the happy student experience at Leeds. Linking up with groups around the University he runs food demonstrations, which give students a chance to socialise and to taste homemade food. He also designs and develops the food for the student experience on campus, taking account of feedback from students and current food trends. Simon’s passion for food, cooking, and the University, where he’s worked for 21 years, is obvious.

Simon said: “I hope that I can inspire students to give cooking a go if they’ve not tried it much before. I get so much satisfaction from this job, I consider myself very lucky.”

Open to everyone, food demonstrations particularly provide support to international students. Felisha Chong signed up to a food demonstration run by the International Student Office in partnership with the Business Confucius Institute and Great Food at Leeds to celebrate Chinese New Year – which had sold out and had a waiting list of 70 people.

In the first year of a BSc in Sustainability and Environmental Management, she wanted to understand more about the University and to meet new people. She said: “Student support at Leeds is really good. Taking part in events like food demonstrations is fun and a good way to feel a part of what is happening at Leeds.”

Read more about the Times Higher Education Student Survey and why students voted the University in the top three in the UK, and lookout for our upcoming food demonstrations on our Facebook and Twitter channels.