10 Aug 2016

Students continue to rate The Open University highly

OU top for assessment and feedback in National Student Survey.

The results of the National Student Survey (NSS) have been published today by HEFCE, with students continuing to rate The Open University (OU) highly. The OU achieved an overall satisfaction rating of 89%, putting it in joint 28th place out of UK Universities. Although the OU dropped one percentage point compared to last year’s rating for overall satisfaction, it had the highest rating in the assessment and feedback category and maintained or improved ratings in every question apart from one.

Behind the headlines, satisfaction has increased for 10 questions and stayed the same for a further 12 questions this year and the survey highlights the OU’s strength in academic support, assessment and feedback. The highest increase was 2%, for Good advice was available when I needed to make study choices (76%). The highest rated questions were The course is intellectually stimulating and I have received detailed comments on my work, with satisfaction ratings of 92%. These two questions also had the highest satisfaction ratings for the OU in NSS 2015 and in NSS 2014.

The OU is the largest university in the UK and the only institution in the survey which operates across all four UK nations. Overall satisfaction has remained the same for the OU in England, at 89%. The OU was the highest rated university in Northern Ireland with a 91% rating, with a drop of one percentage point from last year. Overall satisfaction has decreased by two percentage points for the OU in Scotland giving it the second highest rating in Scotland. The response rate threshold for the OU in Wales was not met meaning HEFCE will not be publishing its data for the 2016 survey.

The satisfaction rating of the OU Students Association remained the same as last year at 62%.

Jonathan Wylie, Director, Academic Services, said:

"We are pleased that the OU has consistently achieved a high overall satisfaction rating. The OU is a unique university delivering at scale and at a distance, and it is particularly rewarding to see our course content, teaching, assessment and feedback rated so highly. As a University, we are committed to putting Students First and we have action plans in place to ensure we continue to improve the student experience."

Sixteen other universities share an overall satisfaction rating of 89% this year alongside the OU, including the University of Birmingham and Durham University.

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