The National Student Survey (NSS) is an important barometer of student satisfaction with higher education.
Here are five key out-takes from the recently published results of the 2017 survey (unless stated, data relates to England only).
- Overall satisfaction: 84% of full-time students and 85% of part-time students in England were satisfied overall with the quality of their course. Figures for Scotland were: 85% (full-time), 87% (part-time); Wales: 84% (full-time), 81% (part-time); Northern Ireland: 85% (full-time), 86% (part-time).
- Quality of teaching: Scores were very high in this area; 89% of full-time students and 86% of part-time students agreed that staff were good at explaining things. Eighty-five per cent of full-time students found their course intellectually stimulating, compared to 89% of part-time students.
- Academic support: 86% of full-time students (85% part-time) said they had been able to contact staff when they needed to.
- Being part of a community: This was one of nine new questions about student engagement for 2017. While promising, the results perhaps indicate that more can be done to promote a sense of community within higher education institutions, especially for those students who spend less time on campus. In response to the statement ‘I feel part of a community of staff and students’, 72% of full-time students and just 56% of part-time students in England agreed. Figures for Scotland were 69% (full-time), 64% (part-time).
- Student voice: While 84% of full-time students (77% part-time) in England said they had had the right opportunities to provide feedback on their course, only 62% (45% part-time) of them agreed it was clear how their feedback had been acted on: in Scotland, this dropped to 53% of full-time students (54% part-time). Seventy-six per cent of full-time students (68% part-time) in England agreed that staff value students’ views and opinions about the course.
Due to a substantial revision of the survey in 2017 – the first major overhaul since 2005 – it isn’t possible to compare these results with previous years’ figures.
You can download the full survey results here.