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Student satisfaction ‘on the rise’

UK students have become more satisfied with their university experience over the past 10 years, according to a new study

The Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE) has analysed the results of the annual National Student Survey of more than two million final-year UK students.

The report shows a rise in satisfaction levels since 2005, especially in areas such as academic support and assessment. It shows overall satisfaction levels have risen by five percentage points, from 80.2% in 2005 to 85% in 2013.

Among the more satisfied were those studying veterinary sciences, physical sciences, mathematical sciences and geographical studies.

HEFCE Chief Executive, Prof Madeleine Atkins, said: “The NSS is an invaluable source of intelligence for universities and colleges.

“The reports confirm the robustness of the NSS, and the value it adds to UK higher education. Hefce will now work with the other UK funding bodies, universities and colleges, and students, to make refinements for the future.”

Commenting on the findings, UCU general secretary, Sally Hunt, said: “Despite unpopular and chaotic university funding changes from governments in the past nine years, students remain satisfied with their degrees and it is the staff in our universities who deserve enormous credit for that.

“Satisfaction remains high even though staff pay has been driven down, workloads have increased and some students expect more for their massively increased fees – despite the fact that money merely covers the funding this government has cut.

“The government and universities cannot continue to simply expect more for less. We need proper investment and commitment to higher education if we are to continue to satisfy students in our universities and be a key player on the world stage.”

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