It has been revealed that almost ninety percent of Durham University’s students are satisfied with their courses. This year’s National Student Satisfaction (NSS) survey indicates that eighty-nine percent are happy with their university experience. This is above the national average – only eighty-six percent of students country-wide gave their universities a satisfactory rating.
The NSS survey asks final year undergraduate students twenty-three questions concerning six different aspects of their university life, including teaching, assessment and feedback, academic support, learning resources, and personal development. There are additional question about the student union and ‘overall satisfaction’. Universities can also add their own questions to the survey to help them judge how happy their students are.
Commenting on the survey, Wendy Piatt, the Director General of the prestigious Russel Group – of which Durham is a member – said, “Our universities are committed to taking students’ views and needs very seriously and to providing an outstanding student experience, where teaching is enhanced by world class research and facilities.”
She added, “Our students graduate with deep subject knowledge and robust analytical skills, but are also creative and entrepreneurial problem solvers – ensuring they have the best chance of success in the global employment market.”
All in all, 312,000 students from 155 universities and colleges completed the survey. The NSS say that their survey “is an influential source of public information about higher education” and that their study “gives students a powerful collective voice to help shape the future of their courses and their university or college.”
Despite Durham’s success in the survey, it didn’t make the top five. The number one spot was clinched by the private University of Buckingham. Others appearing in the top five included the University of Surrey and Keele University. But Durham can take comfort from the fact that other prestigious institutions like Oxford, Cambridge and the University of London didn’t make the top five either.
Durham was, however, when all aspects of university performance were considered, ranked as the top university in the north east and the sixth highest nationwide. The Complete University Guide praised Durham’s “outstanding reputation for research and teaching” and also remarked, “Trust us, the city of Durham is not to be missed.”