UCL News


National Student Survey: UCL results and next steps

3 September 2015

Overall student satisfaction at UCL fell by 3%, according to the 2015 National Student Survey (NSS) results.

National Student Survey: UCL results and next steps The NSS shows that 83% of final year undergraduates are satisfied with their overall experience at UCL, against a sector average of 86%.

Despite some disappointing headline figures, certain UCL departments have performed extremely well, with 100% satisfaction rates recorded in Anthropology and the Slade School of Fine Art, 97% in Speech Sciences and 96% in Cell & Developmental Biology.

Six departments (the Bartlett School of Construction and Project Management, the Slade School of Fine Art, Anthropology, History, Speech Sciences and Biomedical Sciences) will qualify for a Provost's commendation, having achieved more than 80% participation and greater than 90% overall satisfaction.

UCL has also improved in learning resources (+1), which includes libraries and IT facilities, and remained steady for organisation and management and personal development.

Results show a decline in teaching (-1), assessment and feedback (-1) and academic support (-1).

Professor Anthony Smith, UCL Vice-Provost (Education & Student Affairs), said: "After seeing some significant improvements in our NSS scores last year, it is obviously of concern that overall satisfaction has dropped. We take these results extremely seriously, are looking closely at the details and will listen carefully to the issues raised.

"We don't want to lose sight of the departments that have performed well and the fact that we have improved in terms of learning resources, which is gratifying in a year which has seen the opening of the Cruciform Hub and other significant initiatives.

"However, the huge transformation happening across our estate, driven by our ambition to secure a high-quality experience for staff and students, is still in progress and we recognise this period of transition does pose challenges."

Addressing student concerns

The Office of the Vice-Provost (Education & Student Affairs) has already started to take action to improve student satisfaction at UCL with a focus on improving teaching, assessment and feedback, and academic support.

  • Overall satisfaction (down 3%): The Annual Student Experience Review (ASER) process which has been implemented this month, will streamline how departments make actions plans in response to the NSS results. Additionally, departments which have performed well, or significantly improved their scores in particular sections of the NSS will be invited to share their knowledge and best practice with the wider UCL community. The Education Strategy 2015-20 will review key teaching and learning areas to ensure they are improved in over the next five years.
  • Teaching on my course (down 1%): The Connected Curriculum initiative was launched this year to ensure that all UCL students are able to learn through participating in research and enquiry at all levels of their programme of study.
  • Assessment and feedback (down 1%): The Office of the Vice-Provost (Education & Student Affairs) is proposing a radical review of assessment practices in every programme, through the Connected Curriculum review process.
  • Academic support (down 1%): UCL ChangeMakers is the first step in a new UCL focus on student engagement and supports students in running or getting involved in a project to innovate, enhance and improve the UCL learning experience.
  • Organisation and management (no change): The Office of the Vice-Provost (Education & Student Affairs) is taking action to improve the timetable process over the next few years, to ensure the UCL estate is used efficiently and to secure a high-quality experience for staff and students. The quality of learning spaces will also be examined, to ensure they are welcoming, comfortable and conducive to learning.

Student input is vital to ensure a fulfilling student learning experience is at the heart of a UCL education. Do you have ideas, suggestion or comments which you would like to see actioned? Please email your thoughts to vpeducation@ucl.ac.uk.

Professor Anthony Smith, UCL Vice-Provost (Education & Student Affairs)