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In each of the six main categories covered by the NSS, satisfaction has improved. The questions for which students have consistently expressed the lowest level of satisfaction, ‘Assessment and feedback’ has improved from 68 to 70 per cent since last year.
New this year was the addition of a question on satisfaction with students’ unions. This addition follows research into what information students would find most helpful in choosing which university or college to attend.
Students from 154 higher education institutions (HEIs) and 106 further education colleges (FECs) from across the UK (Note 2) took part. Around 287,000 final-year students responded to the survey this year, an increase of over 20,000 from last year. This represents a response rate of 67 per cent, the highest rate in the eight years the NSS has been running. The results of the survey provide valuable information for prospective students, and help universities and colleges to further improve the education they provide.
A summary table of results is shown below. Detailed data are available on the Unistats web-site, which gives data on responses by all students in the survey by institution and by subject. The survey was conducted by Ipsos MORI.
The percentages show students who were definitely or mostly satisfied in response to the questions in the survey (Note 4).
|1 - The teaching on my course (Q 1-4)||84||86|
|2 - Assessment and feedback (Q5-9)>||68||70|
|3 - Academic support (Q10-12)||77||79|
|4 - Organisation and management (Q13-15)||75||77|
|5 - Learning resources (Q16-18)||80||82|
|6 - Personal development (Q 19-21)||80||81|
|7 - Overall satisfaction (Q 22)||83||85|
|8 - Students' union (Q24)||-||66|
|9 - NHS practice placements (Q 25-30)||84||85|
HEFCE Chief Executive, Sir Alan Langlands, said:
‘This year’s excellent results underline the commitment of universities and colleges to excellence in teaching and learning and improving the all round student experience. We have seen steady improvements in the results since the survey began, but this year’s increases are particularly welcome and will act as a spur to further improvement. As prospective students demand better information, the National Student Survey will form a key part of the improved Unistats web-site’.
Professor Janet Beer, chair of the Higher Education Public Information Steering Group and Vice-Chancellor, Oxford Brookes University, said:
‘The increase in the number of students completing the survey is important for a number of reasons. Not only do the results drive improvements across higher education but they also inform the decisions of future students as they contemplate where to study – a role which will grow in prominence with the launch, this year, of Key Information Sets.'
Liam Burns, NUS President said:
‘We have supported and worked with the NSS since it began in 2005 as a tool for securing improvement to student experience. Although in that time progress has not been as rapid as we would have liked, particularly in areas such as assessment and feedback, results have continued to improve year on year and they must continue to do so.’
‘This is the first time students’ unions have been included in the NSS, and it is clear that these initial results pose challenges and identify scope for continuous improvement. We are committed to continuing our work with our member unions to both develop their work and better communicate it to their students.’