National Student Survey: improvement in student satisfaction

12 August 2014

Students at UCL

Student satisfaction at UCL has risen by 2%, according to the latest National Student Survey (NSS) results.

The survey shows that 86% of undergraduates are now satisfied with their overall experience at UCL, which places the university 68th in the UK – 32 places higher than in 2013. Additionally, UCL has risen from 22 to 14 in the list of the 24 universities that make up the Russell Group.

UCL also reached its highest ever response rate, with 74% of final-year undergraduates completing the survey, and achieved improvements in the areas of assessment and feedback, academic support and organisation and management.

Meanwhile, the percentage of UCL students who agreed or strongly agreed that their course was intellectually stimulating has risen from 88% to 89% – 3% above the sector average.

UCL saw a decline in its score for learning resources and remained the same for teaching and personal development. The lowest scoring area was assessment and feedback, though the sector and UCL have both improved on 2013. The sector average has improved in all areas, except personal development, which has remained the same as last year.

Professor Anthony Smith, UCL Vice-Provost (Education & Student Affairs), said: “The overall increase in student satisfaction in this year’s NSS results is very welcome news and something that the UCL community should take pride in. We want all aspects of the student experience at UCL to be truly outstanding, and an improvement in levels of satisfaction as measured by the NSS is a key objective in the UCL 2034 strategy. We want to build on this improvement further – and there is more work to do in certain areas – but overall this is good progress.”

The overall increase in student satisfaction in this year’s NSS results is very welcome news and something that the UCL community should take pride in

Professor Anthony Smith

Four departments have achieved 100% overall satisfaction in 2014 – The Bartlett School of Construction and Project Management, UCL Medical Physics & Bioengineering, UCL Speech Sciences, and UCL Science & Technology Studies.

A further eight departments have increased their level of overall satisfaction by 10% or more, and nine departments will qualify for a Provost’s commendation, having achieved more than 80% participation and greater than 90% overall satisfaction.

Judith Hillmore, Head of Student Experience and Global Citizenship at UCL, commented: “The excellent improvement in the response rate is due to the hard work of dedicated staff and students, who promoted the survey within their departments. Particular thanks must go to the network of departmental NSS Liaison Officers, who encouraged their students to take part, and to Heads of Department and to the students themselves, who engaged their colleagues in the process.”

These efforts were complemented by a central publicity campaign, which was rolled out across the campus.

An incentive scheme was also introduced, with departments achieving a response rate of at least 72% receiving money to be spent on participating students.

A total of £12,450 was distributed across 32 departments to be spent on initiatives selected by students. These included end-of-year celebrations and branded hoodies for the graduating cohort.

UCL student comments will be released on 15 August and digests will be circulated to all departments in the week commencing 18 August.

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  • UCL students in the main quad