12 Aug 2015

The Open University continues to be rated highly for student satisfaction

The Open University has once again performed well in the latest National Student Survey released today by HEFCE. The OU was given an overall satisfaction rating of 90% making it one of only three Higher Education Institutions (HEIs) to consistently score 90% or above every year since 2007.

The Open University is the only institution included in the survey to operate across all four UK nations. The Celtic Nations continue to be rated very highly with the OU in Scotland increasing its overall satisfaction rating to 93% regaining first place among Scottish institutions on this measure. The OU in Northern Ireland has a rating of 92% making it the highest rated university in Northern Ireland and the OU in Wales is one of the highest rated university along with Bangor University and Swansea University 91% (based on aggregated data from the last two years due to the HEFCE publication threshold not being met in 2015).

Away from the headline figures, the NSS results have highlighted that the OU performs particularly well in the teaching, assessment and feedback categories. The OU has the highest rating among HEIs for the question relating to students receiving detailed comments on their work with an overall satisfaction rating of 92%. This makes the OU one of only two institutions to achieve over 90% rating on this question.

Keith Zimmerman, Director, Students, said, “Once again it is great to see our students rate us so highly. As the UK’s largest university, the student experience lies at the heart of everything the OU stands for, so it is very rewarding to see that reflected in these results. When you consider the OU has more than 200,000 students, maintaining a rating of 90% is something of which we can be particularly proud.”

Despite dropping just a single percentage point in overall satisfaction, the OU has the joint 15th highest overall satisfaction rating (from 8th in 2014). This year the dense clustering of universities achieving 90% satisfaction has resulted in fifteen institutions sharing 15th place including University of Cambridge and University of Bath. The OU has seen the largest decrease in satisfaction in the questions relating to timetabling and organisation of the course which were down by 3% to 80% and 86% respectively.

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About the National Student Survey

1. The NSS covers nearly all final-year undergraduates studying for higher education qualifications at higher education institutions (HEIs) and further education colleges (FECs) in England and Wales, and HEIs in Northern Ireland and Scotland. The survey is funded by the four UK higher education funding bodies (the Higher Education Funding Council for England, the Scottish Funding Council, the Higher Education Funding Council for Wales and the Department for Employment and Learning Northern Ireland), the National College of Teaching and Leadership and Health Education England. HEIs in Scotland and participating alternative providers fund their own participation in the survey. The threshold for publication at each institution is that at least 10 students must have responded, and that these should represent at least half the students eligible to participate.

2. The Unistats web-site will be updated with the 2015 NSS results in September. Unistats is the official site to search for and compare data and information on university and college courses from across the UK. The site draws together comparable information on those areas that students have identified as important in making decisions about what and where to study. The data are provided by the Higher Education Statistics Agency, the Skills Funding Agency, the Welsh Government, universities and colleges and Ipsos MORI (National Student Survey).

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