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Student satisfaction at Welsh universities higher than UK average

06 Jul 2022 3 minute read
Cardiff University. Picture by Stan Zurek. Bangor University. Picture: Denis Egan. Swansea University picture by SwanseaUni. (CC BY-SA 4.0) Aberystwyth University picture by Tanya Dedyukhina (CC BY 3.0).

Student satisfaction at Wales’ universities is higher than the UK average, new figures have revealed.

Results from this year’s National Student Survey (NSS) published today show an increase in students’ satisfaction with their university courses.

76.8% in Wales were satisfied with their course, compared with 76.0% in England. The satisfaction rate across the UK was 76.3%.

Satisfaction across the UK however continued to lag pre-pandemic levels. Overall satisfaction in Wales had hit a high of 85.3% in 2019 before a sharp dip to 76.1% in 2021, with a slight rebound this year.

Students filling in the survey this year would have had all three of their years at university impacted by the Covid pandemic, which emerged at the end of the 2019-2020 academic year.

Universities across the UK continue to teach both online and in-person due to the impact of the Covid pandemic.

Overall student satisfaction at Aberystwyth was 86.97%, Bangor University was 80.55%, Swansea 78.33%, Wrexham 76.64%, Trinity St David 75.72%, Cardiff University 75.57%, and the University of South Wales 74.80%.

‘Worked hard’

Dr David Blaney, Chief Executive of HEFCW said: “For many students completing this survey, they will have been coming into the end of the first year of their studies in March 2020. They will have studied through extraordinary times and should be proud of what they have achieved.

“For some students, moving swiftly to online learning – without the usual social experiences seen in the higher education experience – placed students under immense pressure, and they have still succeeded.

“Higher education providers have responded well to the changing times, and should reflect on how they have supported students to achieve their learning outcomes. Institutions have adapted to facilitate learning for students, which we will continue to see in the upcoming academic year.

“There will be valuable feedback from the NSS that can support and guide institutions to continue to make improvements where needed.”

Susan Lapworth, interim chief executive of the Office for Students, said: “This year’s graduates bore the brunt of the pandemic, with much of their time at university affected by lockdowns and other restrictions on student life.

“The NSS has played an important role in capturing students’ views during this extraordinarily difficult time for students and university staff.”

She said the 2022 results shows “there is still more to do if students’ views of the quality of their course are to improve to pre-pandemic levels”.

She added: “Universities and colleges have – by and large – worked hard to return to in-person teaching and ensure students have access to the facilities they need for successful study.

“It is, therefore, welcome to see a marked increase in the proportion of students agreeing that the resources universities and colleges offer are up to scratch. But on this, and every, measure there are substantial differences in students’ views depending on which subject they study.”

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1 year ago

student satisfaction scores do not measure qualIty of courses. Satisfaction is rhe difference between expectation and reality. the marketisation of higher education has led universities to compete for students through marketing which inevitably raises unrealistic expectarions of the university experience. Further, most students only attend one university so there is no comparison for students to compare their experience. Get rid of thr pointless NSS.

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