HEFCE release NSS results

This years National Student Survey (NSS) finds that 86 per cent of students at UK higher education institutions and further education colleges are satisfied overall with their course. Only 7 per cent were dissatisfied (5 per cent) or strongly dissatisfied (2 per cent).

The survey looks at six groups of questions which cover; assessment and feedback, academic support, organisation and management, learning resources and personal development. Satisfaction has improved in five of these six groups since 2014. Overall satisfaction has risen steadily since 2010 where it sat at 82%.

Wonkhe National Student Survey 2015 results NSS* The percentage satisfied is calculated by combining the ‘strongly agree’ and ‘mostly agree’ responses. Percentages may not sum due to rounding

Professor Madeleine Atkins, Chief Executive of HEFCE noted the survey as; “Valuable in supporting prospective students and their parents and advisors in helping choose which higher education institution to select.”

Response rate to the survey was the same as the year before – 71 per cent. Over 300,000 final year students responded to the survey from 155 HEIs, 190 FECs and 5 private HE provides across the UK.

This year’s results include responses from students under the new £9,000 fee regime. Around a third of students included in the survey were studying under the old fee regime including students who were on longer courses such as medicine and dentistry. According to HEFCE; “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”.

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.”

Nicola Dandridge, Chief Executive of Universities UK, said: “These figures are particularly significant given that they include final-year students in England who started courses in 2012 under the new £9,000 tuition fee regime. The shift in England from public funding to increased fees means that students are understandably, and rightly, demanding more from their university courses. Universities are responding to this and are also improving the amount of information to students about courses to ensure that their experience matches their expectations.”

Maddalaine Ansell, Chief Executive of University Alliance, said: “It is positive to see high levels of student satisfaction being maintained within UK higher education. This shows that the sector is working hard to deliver a quality experience for students who are, quite rightly, keen to ensure they get the most out of their time at university.”

Dr Wendy Piatt, Director General of the Russell Group, said: “While we welcome data which helps prospective students make good choices it is important to remember that data can have its limitations. We urge students to read up on courses, look at information available online, go to open days and talk to careers advisers and others to find out which degree course will suit them.”

More detailed data are available through the HEFCE website and from September, prospective students will be able to compare NSS results and other relevant information on the Unistats web-site.

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