NSS results 2015

Highest ever satisfaction with Leeds recorded in National Student Survey.

A record 90% of this year’s final year students said they were satisfied or very satisfied with the overall quality of their course at Leeds, according to the results of this year’s National Student Survey (NSS). This score represents a 2% improvement on last year – an excellent result in such a competitive environment – and is well above the sector average, which remains at 86%.

We improved our scores by 3% in three other categories – Assessment and Feedback; Academic Support; and Personal Development – and by 2% on Teaching. Learning Resources went up by 1% and we equalled last year’s score for Organisation and Management.

Leeds University Union also has cause to celebrate. It increased its score by another 1%, to 92%, maintaining its position impressively above the sector average of 69%.

These very pleasing results mean a substantial improvement in our ranking within the 24 Russell Group institutions where, on the basis of students’ scores for overall satisfaction, we now share third place with six other universities (up from joint 11th place last year).

With 78% of our eligible students completing the survey, we maintained our response rate, which continues to be one of the highest in the sector, significantly above the national response rate, which this year was 71%.

The overall national picture emerging from the NSS shows that the satisfaction rate for students studying at UK universities and colleges remains high, with 86% saying they were satisfied with their course. More than 300,000 UK final year students responded to the survey.

Pro-Vice-Chancellor for Student Education, Professor Vivien Jones, said: “This is an excellent result for us – it really consolidates the upward trend we’ve recorded in the NSS over the last five years, and we are now the only university in the Russell Group to score 85% or above in seven out of eight categories.

“We’re grateful that so many of our students chose to share their views and take part in what is a very valuable exercise. It’s really encouraging to see that they are recognising the benefits of the many positive changes we have made, working in partnership with students. I was especially pleased to see the uplift of 3% in Assessment and Feedback, Academic Support, and Personal Development, areas in which colleagues have worked particularly hard in response to what students are telling us. I’d like to thank everyone for their commitment, and hope people share my satisfaction that all our efforts have been worthwhile.

“As ever, there is still work to do and, despite our substantial improvement in the Assessment and Feedback score, this is an area where we can do even better next year. In the coming weeks, we shall be looking at the results in detail with individual schools and with the student body to identify where and how we can make further improvements across all categories.”

Toke Dahler, Union Affairs Officer at Leeds University Union (LUU), said: "I couldn't be happier to hear that students are more satisfied than ever with the Union, and to see our increase in students' satisfaction rise for yet another year. I would like to thank the fantastic efforts of our staff, who have directly impacted on this achievement, and all the students who make up Leeds University Union.

"This is the first year of our new Strategic Plan in which we have already achieved so much. We carried out extensive research into understanding our students and their needs, and have already begun putting the results into practice, making sure all our students 'Love Their Time at Leeds'. 

"Looking to the future, our £20 million upgrade will begin towards the end of this year.  This is a huge investment by the University to further enhance students' experiences at Leeds, with their feedback directly shaping the upgrade plans.  I look forward to another year of engaging students in making the most of their university experience."

Melissa Owusu, LUU’s Education Officer said: "I’m proud of our continual improvement and believe that this is a result of working in partnership with the University and supporting students throughout their studies with a range of new initiatives this year.

“Our School Representatives have continued to work with the University to make sure students are helping shape their own educational needs and improve their academic experience.

“At LUU, we support our students throughout their studies and during this year's exam periods we have provided workshops in meditation, stress relief and study help, alongside free breakfasts to make sure students were not going into exams or assessments without a hearty meal.

"Our four-year strategic plan prioritises student welfare and happiness. A large part of this will be working collaboratively with the University and making access to support services as easy as possible.”


The 11th National Student Survey (NSS) ran from January to April 2015, and is sponsored by the Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE). More than 300,000 final-year students responded to the survey this year, from 155 Higher Education Institutions (HEIs), 190 Further Education Colleges (FECs) and five private higher education providers from across the UK.

The annual survey measures the satisfaction levels of current students, and their experiences give prospective students valuable information that will help them decide what and where to study.

Final year students were asked to indicate their level of agreement with each of 23 statements using the following five point rating scale:

1 Definitely disagree

2 Mostly disagree

3 Neither agree or disagree

4 Mostly agree

5 Definitely agree

More detailed data are available on the HEFCE website The Unistats website will be updated with the 2015 NSS results in September.

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



2015 Agreed

Change between 2014-15

(percentile points)

Sector average 2015

Teaching (Q1 to Q4)





Assessment & feedback (Q5 to Q9)





Academic support (Q10 to Q12)





Organisation & management (Q13 to Q15)





Learning resources (Q16 to Q18)





Personal development (Q19 to Q21)





Satisfaction with Student's Union





Overall satisfaction (Q22)





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