VC’s week – 1 October 2012 - Starting the new term, our NSS scores and Piano Postcard exhibition

A regular update from Vice-Chancellor Professor Michael Arthur.

Professor Michael Arthur

pThe new term is underway and, from the atmosphere and bustle on campus, it’s clear that staff and students are already getting into the swing of things. With the start of the new academic year, I’ll be writing a weekly note on For Staff giving my perspective on the week’s events and news at the University and in the sector. I’d be delighted to get your feedback, and you can email me with comments at the email address below.

At the top of my mind at the moment is student recruitment for 2013. Our 2012 undergraduates have just arrived, but already our focus is on efforts for next year. Although we’re still analysing the impact of increased student fees on our undergraduate numbers, it is very clear that competition for the best students was intense and that total undergraduate numbers are down. In addition there was a national reduction in students achieving AAB+ grades, which has adversely affected student recruitment around many Russell Group universities. There are many things about our student recruitment process that are excellent, but it’s timely to look at our overall approach in some detail to ensure we are geared up to attract the very best students in future.

It was good to get the year off to a positive start with the latest results from the National Student Survey. Our scores have risen in all question categories and the rise to 87% on Q22, ‘Overall, I am satisfied with the quality of the course’ is the highest score Leeds has ever achieved. Despite all our improvements, our peers are also raising their game and our overall NSS position is now 13th of 24 in the new, expanded Russell Group.

I managed to get to the Piano Postcards exhibition in the Stanley and Audrey Burton Gallery last week with Dame Fanny Waterman. I’d highly recommend a visit to see the 16 postcards created by luminaries such as Sir Paul McCartney and Emeli Sandé to celebrate the University’s partnership with the Leeds International Piano Competition. The postcards are being auctioned this week to raise funds for two music charities – you might want to make a bid.


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