The National Student Survey is an annual census of nearly half a million students across the UK. It produces information intended to help institutions and students' unions identify areas of success and areas for enhancement. There are some criticisms of the NSS however it is a tool which identifies evidence of best practice and student perceptions of some key facets of their University life. As a students’ union we intend to use the data to target and drive some of our representative work over the next year.
The 2015 NSS results were released last month. On the specific question regarding student satisfaction with YUSU the level increased by 5% from last year! This is absolutely fantastic and shows that the Union is listening to students and responding to feedback.
The data identified some key improvements for the University as well which we should all be proud of. In particular;
- While the sector average for overall satisfaction remained the same, the University of York saw a 2% increase in student satisfaction.
- University of York student satisfaction in ‘Organisation and management’ increased by 3%
- University of York student satisfaction in ‘Learning and resources’ improved by 1%
- University of York student satisfaction in ‘Teaching on my course’, ‘Assessment and feedback’, ‘Academic support’ and ‘Personal Development’ all increased by 2%
Some subject areas have seen a significant improvement in overall satisfaction; Chemistry, Cinematics, Computer Science, Drama, Economics, Law, Linguistics, Management, Mathematics, Medicine (HYMS), Music, Nursing (Health Sciences) PEP, Physics, Politics and Social Policy. We will be working with academic representatives to identify best practice from specific courses and to try to share this with those subjects that are showing less positive satisfaction ratings.
The survey also identifies some areas that require specific work from YUSU, academic representatives, University personnel and even students themselves in order to improve student satisfaction. In particular;
- York remains in the third quartile of all institutions for ‘Assessment and feedback’ with students feeling less satisfied with the extent to which they ‘have received detailed comments on [their] work’ and that ‘feedback on [their] work has helped [them] clarify things I did not understand’.
Regarding the question on student satisfaction with the students’ union, while we are proud of an impressive improvement this last year the data also shows some key areas we need to work on. Specifically;
- There remains a large population of students who respond to the question about satisfaction with their students’ union with ‘not applicable’. All of you are members of YUSU and we really need to work harder to ensure everyone feels that the union is applicable to them in some way and supports their student life.
- There remains a large population of students who respond to the question about satisfaction with their students’ union with a neutral meaning that they neither agree nor disagree about whether they are satisfied. We really need to work harder to demonstrate the value and impact we have on you all through the services we offer, the campaigns we run, the activities and opportunities we offer and the support we give.
- There are significant differences in student satisfaction with the union between different demographics. We need to identify which specific courses, genders, ethnicity’s and other demographics feel disengaged or dissatisfied with their students’ union. It is essential that we get out and engage with them so we can build a clear understanding of how we can support them.
If you aren’t satisfied with your students’ union or aspects of your course please please talk to YUSU, your course or department reps or even members of the University about what changes you would like. YUSU will be doing some work over the course of term 1 to make sure we get out and about across departments, campus, various students groups to talk with you all and help ensure we understand your needs and best address them. In the meantime if you want to know more about what YUSU does, how we represent you, the opportunities we offer, the services we run and how we support you then take a look at http://freshers.yusu.org/home
ALSO everyone get excited for FRESHERSSSS!