Satisfaction has either improved since 2013 or stayed the same in each of the seven categories covered by the survey [Note 1]. In particular, teaching, academic support and learning resources have all gained ground in 2014.
Only 7 per cent of students were neither satisfied nor dissatisfied with their higher education experience in 2014. A further 5 per cent were dissatisfied, while only 2 per cent were strongly dissatisfied.
Around 321,000 final-year students responded to this year’s survey – the highest response rate (71 per cent) since it began 10 years ago. A record number of universities and colleges from across the UK took part (156 higher education institutions, 166 further education colleges and three private higher education providers).
The results are used by senior management teams, academics, students’ unions and others to drive improvements in curriculum, teaching and learning quality, learning resources and academic support – areas which are fundamental to students’ academic experience. They also provide valuable information for prospective students [Note 2].
Professor Madeleine Atkins, HEFCE Chief Executive, said:
‘I’m delighted to see record levels of student satisfaction this year, as well as marked improvements in satisfaction with assessment and feedback over the last decade.
‘The NSS is the largest survey of its kind in the UK. Over the last 10 years it has helped over 2 million students to make their voices heard about the things that matter to them, and has been fundamental to driving change in our universities and colleges.
‘In a period of technological advance, internationalisation and funding reforms, the NSS will continue to enable students’ views to be heard and to stimulate innovation and excellence in teaching and learning in our universities and colleges.’
A summary table of results is below. More detailed data are available.
|Questions||2013 NSS||2014 NSS|
|1-4||The teaching on my course||86%||87%|
|5-8||Assessment and feedback||72%||72%|
|13-15||Organisation and management||78%||78%|
* The percentage satisfied is calculated by combining the ‘strongly agree’ and ‘mostly agree’ responses.
The report ‘Review of the National Student Survey’, commissioned by the four higher education funding bodies as part of ongoing work to review the NSS, has highlighted its value and reliability. A study by HEFCE (‘UK review of the provision of information about higher education: National Student Survey results and trends analysis 2005-2013’, HEFCE 2014/13) confirmed that the NSS provides consistent and robust results.
The data are provided by the Higher Education Statistics Agency, the Data Service, universities and colleges and Ipsos MORI (National Student Survey).