National Student Survey
18 October 2005
A new university ratings website incorporating students' experiences has been published.
The Teaching Quality Information website incorporates the new National Student Survey (NSS), a survey of over 170,000 students who completed their degree programme in summer 2005, giving feedback on all aspects of university life, from the learning resources available to them, to course teaching and academic support.
UCL received generally positive feedback from the National Student Survey. UCL was assessed by students as the most popular university of the prestigious Russell Group. The NSS also saw English-Based Studies at UCL rated as the fourth most popular area of study in the country.
Professor Michael Worton Vice-Provost of UCL (Academic & International) welcomed the NSS as a useful starting point for potential university students, but emphasised that students should also consider other information: "At the moment, the NSS only subdivides the results into broad areas of study, such as 'European Languages and Area studies' or 'Civil, Chemical and other Engineering'. There are obviously tremendous variations within these categories, so students should also consider the information that the university provides on specific courses. UCL interviews all candidates potentially eligible for a place, and again, this is an excellent opportunity to ask questions and find out more about a degree course."
The NSS has also proved useful to UCL in identifying areas for improvement, and tackling these, explained Professor Worton: "The area where we scored least well in the NSS was 'assessment and feedback'. This corresponds exactly to our own conclusions. In fact, as Chair of Academic Committee, I set up last session a Working Group on Assessment and Feedback. This group has already met several times, and I am delighted with the progress that they have already made."
As well as the National Student Survey, the TQI website gives a wealth of other information, including the number of state school students admitted to university, and research performance indicators which attempt to assess value for money in universities' research spending.
To access the Teaching Quality Information website, use the link at the top of the article.
Image: Professor Michael Worton