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Satisfaction has improved since 2014 in five out of six of the groups of questions covered by the survey, these cover: assessment and feedback, academic support, organisation and management, learning resources and personal development.

More than 300,000 final-year students responded to the survey this year, from 155 HEIs, 190 FECs and 5 private HE providers from across the UK (Note 1). This represents a response rate of 71 per cent, the same as last year.

The results of the survey, conducted by Ipsos MORI on behalf of UK funding bodies, provides valuable information for prospective students, and help universities and colleges to further improve the education they provide.

Commenting on the results of the NSS, Professor Madeleine Atkins, Chief Executive of HEFCE, said:

‘The survey provides detailed and robust data which is used extensively by universities and colleges to improve the quality of their teaching and learning. It is also valuable in supporting prospective students and their parents and advisors in helping choose which higher education institution to select.’

A summary table of results for the UK is shown below. More detailed data are available through the HEFCE website. Prospective students will be able to compare NSS results and other relevant information on the Unistats website from September.

Questions2014 NSS2015 NSS
 *SatisfiedSatisfied
1-4 The teaching on my course 87% 87%
5-8 Assessment and feedback 72% 73%
9-12 Academic support 81% 82%
13-15 Organisation and management 78% 79%
16-18 Learning resources 85% 86%
19-21 Personal development 82% 83%
22 Overall satisfaction 86% 86%

* The percentage satisfied is calculated by combining the ‘strongly agree’ and ‘mostly agree’ responses. Percentages may not sum due to rounding

Which cohort of students are included in the survey?

Of those students studying at HEIs and FECs in England, around a third were studying under the old fee regime before the introduction of the £9,000 tuition fee. This includes students who were on longer courses such as medicine and dentistry. Further analysis of the results will be carried out in the autumn to determine if there is any difference in response from ‘old-regime’ and ‘new-regime’ students.

Notes

  1. The NSS covers nearly all final-year undergraduates studying for higher education qualifications at higher education institutions (HEIs) and further education colleges (FECs) in England and Wales, and HEIs in Northern Ireland and Scotland. The survey is funded by the four UK higher education funding bodies (the Higher Education Funding Council for England, the Scottish Funding Council, the Higher Education Funding Council for Wales and the Department for Employment and Learning Northern Ireland), the National College of Teaching and Leadership and Health Education England. HEIs in Scotland and participating alternative providers fund their own participation in the survey. The threshold for publication at each institution is that at least 10 students must have responded, and that these should represent at least half the students eligible to participate.
  2. The Unistats website will be updated with the 2015 NSS results in September. Unistats is the official site to search for and compare data and information on university and college courses from across the UK. The site draws together comparable information on those areas that students have identified as important in making decisions about what and where to study.  The data are provided by the Higher Education Statistics Agency, the Skills Funding Agency, the Welsh Government, universities and colleges and Ipsos MORI (National Student Survey).