Campus universities have continued to perform highly in the 2014 National Student Survey as undergraduate satisfaction scores hit a 10-year high.
Some 86 per cent of the 321,000 final-year undergraduates who responded to this year’s survey said they were satisfied overall with their course, up from 85 per cent last year.
Only 5 per cent said they were dissatisfied and 2 per cent were strongly dissatisfied, while 7 per cent were neither happy nor unhappy about their course, according to the results of the survey published on 12 August.
Excluding small and specialist institutions, three universities shared the top spot in this year’s survey, gaining a 93 per cent approval rating: the University of Bath, Keele University and the University of St Andrews.
In joint fourth place are the University of Exeter, the University of East Anglia, and two private universities – the not-for-profit University of Buckingham and the University of Law, which was bought by private equity firm Montagu for about £180 million in 2012. Each scored 92 per cent in student satisfaction scores.
That meant the five best rated public universities were all campus institutions.
The universities of Oxford and Cambridge were joint eighth on 91 per cent, alongside the universities of Bangor, Coventry, Durham, Essex, Glasgow, Kent, Newcastle, Surrey, and the Open University.
Overall, the highest ranking higher education institution is the Courtauld Institute of Art, in central London, which gained a 100 per cent approval rating from its students, up from 76 per cent in 2013.
Institutions in London again fared relatively poorly, with Ravensbourne, the University of the Arts London and London Metropolitan University scoring the lowest in the country (68, 71 and 76 per cent respectively).
Madeleine Atkins, chief executive of the Higher Education Funding Council for England, said she was “delighted to see record levels of student satisfaction this year” and the “marked improvements in satisfaction with assessment and feedback over the last decade”.
Reflecting on the NSS, which was launched in 2004, she added that “over the last 10 years, [the NSS] has helped over two million students to make their voices heard about the things that matter to them, and has been fundamental to driving change in our universities and colleges”.
Overall, teaching was rated most highly by students out of the six categories assessed, with 87 per cent of students happy with the course, up from 86 per cent last year.
Assessment and feedback was again rated the lowest by students, with just 72 per cent saying they were satisfied with this, the same level as last year.
Greg Clark, the universities minister, said: “It is great to see student satisfaction rates with their university experience are continuing to rise.
“It is vital that higher education institutions further enhance teaching quality and improve the experience they offer to students.”
National Student Survey 2014: UK results
| || ||National Student Survey 2013||National Student Survey 2014|
|1-4||The teaching on my course||86%||87%|
|5-8||Assessment and feedback||72%||72%|
|13-15||Organisation and management||78%||78%|
* The percentage satisfied is calculated by combining the ‘strongly agree’ and ‘mostly agree’ responses.