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National Student Survey Results 2011

Thursday 10 July 2008 Higher Education

This year’s 2011 National Student Survey (NSS) saw over 267,000 students complete the questionnaire which is an average response rate of 65 per cent. This was an overall increase of 2 per cent on last year’s survey. In FE the response rate increased from 60 per cent in 2010 to 66 per cent in 2011.

Headline UK Results:

  • overall satisfaction has gone up by 1 per cent across the UK and now stands at 83 per cent;
  • satisfaction with organisation and anagement has increased by 2 per cent to 75 per cent overall;
  • assessment and feedback has also increased by 2 per cent to 68 per cent overall.

NUS is delighted with the progress of assessment and feedback over the last academic year, and it is clear from these results that all of the hard work students’ unions have been doing to campaign for better feedback practices is paying off.

Usman Ali, Vice President (Higher Education) at NUS said: “this is a great example of how unions have fought hard to win on an issue for students, and it had paid off. The NUS Feedback and Assessment campaign toolkit has had a great reception from both students’ unions and institutions across the UK and it is heartening to see that it is making a positive impact. We do still however have a long way to go to increase the satisfaction of assessment and feedback to the same level as the other categories in the NSS”.


  • overall satisfaction has increased by 2 per cent in England for both full and part time students;
  • assessment and feedback has gone up by 3 per cent in satisfaction for full time students but has decreased in satisfaction for part time students by 1 per cent;
  • academic support satisfaction has increased by 2 per cent for full time students but has remained static for part time students;
  • personal development satisfaction remains static;
  • students studying HE in FE in England are still 9 per cent less satisfied than students in HE institutions with regards to the organisation and management of their course;
  • HE in FE students are 1 per cent more satisfied with the learning resources on offer than last year, however they are also 9 per cent less satisfied with learning resources compared to students studying in HE institutions.

Northern Ireland:

  • students in Northern Ireland are 2 per cent more satisfied with assessment and feedback (63 per cent), organisation and management (78 per cent) and learning resources (85 per cent) compared to 2010;
  • there has been a 1 per cent decrease in satisfaction in personal development (81 per cent).


  • results in Scotland have remained broadly similar across the board with only a 1 per cent variance in satisfaction within each of the categories;
  • part time students are 5 per cent less satisfied that full time students in 2011 with the quality of the teaching (PT: 82 per cent FT: 87 per cent);
  • part time student are 7 per cent less satisfied than full time students in 2011 with the organisation and management of the course (PT: 68 per cent FT: 72 per cent).


  • most questions in the NSS are up by at least 1 per cent from 2010;
  • NHS results are up by 2 per cent for the first time since the NSS started in Wales from 87% in 2010 to 89% in 2011.

The experience of part time students has improved since last year but they are still less satisfied than full time students in accessing the library and specialist facilities.

Coming up...

NUS will be adding to it’s learning and teaching charters by publishing a charter on course organisation and management in September with guidance for unions on this key area of the NSS.