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National Student Survey Results released

16 Jul 2020

A message from Professor April McMahon, Vice-President for Teaching, Learning and Students

NSS survey results

The annual National Student Survey Results (NSS) were issued yesterday (15 July), with our University’s overall satisfaction score decreasing from 84% to 81%. Overall, 60% of the final year undergraduate students at our University completed the Survey.

While I acknowledge that this has been a highly unusual year with the pandemic and industrial action doubtless having an effect, we cannot lay the entirety of this disappointing result at that door and, as ever, there is a huge amount we can learn from analysing the data and from the many comments made by students, to help us improve the experience of learning at our University.

We will obtain more data on how we have performed against other universities shortly, but our current position – below the national average and 17th in the Russell Group – clearly needs serious attention.

Although it is tempting to focus on the headline number, we will be looking in much greater depth at this important set of data in its entirety, and our initial analysis shows that some areas such as medicine and law where we placed a particular focus last year have made improvements. Well done to all the colleagues who have been involved.

We have 12 subjects across all Faculties where students reported 90% or greater satisfaction and maths has been ranked second in the Russell Group – so congratulations on those achievements.

There are however areas for particular concern in some subjects and in relatively low scores overall for questions on teaching and assessment and feeling part of a community of staff and students.

Through our Faculties and Schools and the new Institute of Teaching and Learning we will be embedding the best of our University’s practices across campus and helping areas that need more support to excel.

Each of our students who filled in the survey wanted to tell us something, positive or negative, and we are committed to learning from their experiences.

Finally, I’d like to add that, looking at the comments made by current students in the unit surveys and other feedback mechanisms, it is clear how many of them appreciate the great efforts that our colleagues have made to support students and help them continue their learning.

We have a lot to do – but there are also grounds for encouragement, and I will be writing a Viewpoint blog once we have had more time to analyse the NSS results and decide on our next steps.

Kind regards

Professor April McMahon  

Vice-President for Teaching, Learning and Students

Further information