13 Aug 2013

The Open University among top-rated universities for student satisfaction for 9th year running

The Open University has once again achieved one of the highest ratings for student satisfaction amongst UK universities in the 2013 National Student Survey – achieving an overall satisfaction rate of 92%.

The result means the OU has been ranked as one of the top five universities each year since the survey was first carried out in 2005.

The survey, commissioned by the Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE), also showed that 94% of OU students found their courses intellectually stimulating. The University also had one of the five highest satisfaction ratings for assessment and feedback.

Christina Lloyd, Director, Students at The Open University, said:

“Our students continue to rate us very highly. At a time of increasing pressures on students and changes in higher education, it is great to see such a high level of student satisfaction throughout the sector. Since we were founded over 40 years ago, the student experience has been at the very heart of what the OU stands for, so to maintain a place in the top five in terms of student satisfaction for nine years running is something of which we can be very proud.”

The Open University was also rated highly in the individual UK nations, with the OU in Wales and the OU in Scotland having the highest overall satisfaction rating compared with HEIs in their respective nations. As in previous years, The Open University in Ireland was also the highest rated university for student satisfaction in Northern Ireland.

The UK universities with the highest ratings for student satisfaction in the 2013 survey were:

1 University of Bath 94%

2= Keele University 93%
University of Buckingham 93%
University of St Andrews 93%

5= The Open University 92%
Cambridge University 92%

7= University of Surrey 91%
University of Oxford 91%
University of Exeter 91%
Newman University 91%
University of St Mark and St John 91%


1. The Open University (OU) is the largest academic institution in the UK and a world leader in flexible distance learning. Since it began in 1969, the OU has taught more than 1.8 million students and has almost 250,000 current students.

2. The methodology used by HEFCE to derive the survey population means students surveyed as part of the 2013 National Student Survey began studying with the OU before 1 August 2009 and studied at least 120 credit points during the three academic years 2009/10 to 2011/12.

3. The number of Open University students surveyed was 26,452 – the largest sample size of any UK HEI. By contrast, the next largest was 7,512 at Manchester University.

4. The overall satisfaction ratings for The Open University in the UK nations were:

Scotland: 93%
Wales: 91%
N. Ireland: 93%

5. The survey was commissioned by the Higher Education Funding Council for England on behalf of the Higher Education Funding Council for Wales (HEFCW) and the Department for Employment and Learning, Northern Ireland (DELNI) and Health Education England. It was conducted by Ipsos MORI. Further details on the National Student Survey are available on the HEFCE website –

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