National Student Survey 2012 shows continuing improvement

The NSS 2012 shows that the University continues to improve its performance, with 87% of our final year students saying they are satisfied with their experience at Leeds - our highest score yet.


Our scores improved in all seven categories, with the greatest increase in Assessment and Feedback (up 4 percentage points), followed by Academic Support and Personal Development (both up 3 percentage points). We did exceptionally well in a new category introduced this year: Satisfaction with Students' Union. Our score of 90% - significantly ahead of the 66% sector average - is the third highest in the country. 

Our improved score for overall satisfaction has ensured that, in the face of increasing competition, we have maintained the position in the top third of the national ranking that we achieved last year.

78% of eligible students completed the survey (up from 75% in 2011), giving us one of the highest response rates in the sector. 

Pro-Vice-Chancellor for Student Education Professor Vivien Jones said: "Colleagues across the University and in Leeds University Union have continued to work hard to ensure our students have an excellent experience during their time with us. With six out of seven category scores putting us ahead of the sector average, the NSS 2012 results show that their efforts have been worth it. I was particularly pleased to see that across every School students were satisfied with the quality of teaching, and delighted that LUU achieved such a high score. 

"As ever, there is room for improvement and, despite a significant increase in our score for Assessment and Feedback, this is still an area where we need to do better. The work being done on assessment as feedback as part of the Curriculum Enhancement Project will build on the improvements we have already made. We also need to continue to improve our performance on Academic Support and Personal Development, and these will be a priority for action plans this year. We'll also be looking at some school-specific issues identified in the survey, and taking steps to ensure these are addressed.

"It's pleasing that so many of our students chose to complete the survey; their feedback is extremely valuable and allows us to concentrate on how and where we can further improve our provision. There are already a number of initiatives underway which will help us ensure that students really do enjoy an exceptional experience during their time at Leeds."

Josh Smith, Leeds University Union's Education Officer, said: "It's fantastic to see that, once again, Leeds has received great student feedback, showing overall improvement in students' satisfaction with their experience. I believe that these results highlight the positive work the Union and the University have achieved through Partnership. We must now seek to go even further by focussing on assessment and feedback and working together with schools that have not performed as well as we might have hoped."

Antony Haddley, Leeds University Union's Union Affairs Officer, said: "It's brilliant to see that our vision of helping students to love their time at Leeds is reflected in these results. It could not happen without the hard work of the excellent staff here - a large amount of whom are students - and also the students who volunteer their time to become representatives of their peers and to run societies that provide a wide range of fantastic opportunities for the student body." 


The eighth National Student Survey (NSS) ran from February to April 2012, and is sponsored by the Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE). The annual survey measures the satisfaction levels of current students, typically in their final year, and their experiences give prospective students valuable information that will help them decide where and what to study. Students were asked to indicate their level of agreement with each of 23 statements using a five point rating scale as follows:

1.  Definitely disagree
2.  Mostly disagree
3.  Neither agree or disagree
4.  Mostly agree
5.  Definitely agree

The full set of NSS results, which this year form part of the Key Information Set publichsed by HEFCE, and a full list of questions can be found on the Unistats website.

Read a summary of the results for this University

Data table

The following data table compares the University's results for each question category against the national average for higher education institutions. 

Question category 2011% agreed¹ 2012 % agreed Sector Average (2012) % agreed 
The teaching on my course  88  90   86 
Assessment and feedback  65   69  70 
Academic support  77  80   79 
Organisation and management   82    83   77 
Learning resources  87  88   82
Personal development  78  81  81
Overall Satisfaction  86  87  85 (86*)
Students' Union  n/a  90  66

¹ % agreed is derived by adding together the percentage of respondents selecting 'Mostly agree' and 'Definitely agree' in the questions within each category. 

*Benchmarks were introduced to the NSS in 2011 following research showing that results could not be reliably compared across institutions because certain subject areas and groups of students consistently report lower levels of satisfaction. The benchmark takes into account the following characteristics: subject; ethnicity; age; mode of study; sex; disability. The benchmark shows the sector average overall satisfaction level but is adjusted to reflect the mix of students at the institution. This year's benchmark for the University is 86.

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