• Thu. May 30th, 2024

The University of Edinburgh fares poorly in the latest National Student Survey

ByTom Harrington

Aug 12, 2023
Old College Quadrangle, The University of EdinburghOld College Quadrangle, The University of Edinburgh

According to the latest National Student Survey (NSS) the University of Edinburgh is perceived by 30 per cent of final-year undergraduates as dissatisfactory.

The survey, which asks a series of questions to final-year undergraduates at universities across the country, helps inform university rankings and if universities can increase fees under the ‘Teaching Excellence Framework’.

Overall final-year undergraduate satisfaction at the University of Edinburgh was 70 per cent, with 69 per cent claiming that their course was a positive experience.

The university is perceived to have underperformed across the board, with only one question receiving a ‘better-than-benchmark’ percentage (the target that the university should be aiming to improve against). 

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This was the perception that courses are intellectually stimulating (87.6 per cent).

Areas in which the university scored poorly include signposting to mental health and wellbeing services, which was down 15.2 per cent (59.9 per cent) against the benchmark (75 per cent).  

Likewise the university was down 23.8 per cent (52.1 per cent), against the benchmark (75.9%) on the question: “How often do you receive assessment feedback on time?”.

Responding to the survey results, The University of Edinburgh Vice-Principal Students, Colm Harmon, stated in an email to students that:

“Despite not being able to compare as we would normally do, it is clear that this [student satisfaction] number is too low.

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“There are some great things within the NSS for Edinburgh. In particular you have a really strong and positive view of the teaching on your course, with those teaching on your course, and with the wider learning resources”.

Harmon also acknowledged that: “our final year students’ university experience was shaped by unprecedented challenges, including the global pandemic, cost of living rises, and repeated periods of industrial action.  

“We’re very proud of our students’ resilience and ability to adapt when things get difficult”.

Changes have been made to the methodology of this year’s NSS that make accurate comparisons to previous reports difficult.

However, the University of Edinburgh’s satisfaction rate is notably lower than other Scottish universities, with the University of St Andrews achieving an overall satisfaction rating of 87.3 per cent, the highest in the UK, and better-than-benchmark ratings across all questions bar “access to library resources”.  

Read More: University of Edinburgh and UCU release joint statement on industrial action: The University of Edinburgh fares poorly in the latest National Student Survey

Likewise, The University of Aberdeen achieved better than benchmark results in all areas except “how well does the student union (association or guild) represent students’ academic interests?” which was down 2 per cent against its benchmark, as well as being rated second best in the UK for overall satisfaction.

Colm Harmon closed his remarks to students by saying: “We are continuing to look at all the data in detail to get a full picture of the results and we will share the other lessons from the NSS with you when we can, including analysis of the ‘qualitative’ feedback which also forms part of the survey.

“We are committed to listening to your feedback, and letting you know what we are doing to respond to it.”

Old College Quadrangle, Edinburgh University” by dun_deagh is licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0.