National Student Survey ranks Leeds equal second in Russell Group

This year's National Student Survey (NSS) puts us in joint second place among Russell Group universities for Satisfaction – up from joint third last year.

Nss 2016

With 90% of final year students saying they were satisfied or very satisfied with the overall quality of their course at Leeds, the result is well above the HEI sector average of 86%.

We maintained our scores in the Personal Development, and Organisation and Management categories, but dropped by 1% on the four remaining categories: Teaching, Learning Resources, Assessment and Feedback, and Academic Support. With 76% of eligible students completing the survey, our response rate dipped slightly but it remains one of the highest in the sector and above the national response rate of 73%.

Leeds University Union continues to receive one of the sector’s highest rankings, and its satisfaction rating of 92% is significantly above the average of 69%.

Professor Tom Ward, Deputy Vice-Chancellor: Student Education, said: “The 90% score for Satisfaction is a considerable achievement in an increasingly competitive environment. Quite rightly, our students demand excellence in all areas of their studies, and I’m delighted so many of them chose to respond to the NSS and give their views.

“Our next job is to analyse the results in more detail and discuss them with individual schools and our student body, to see how and where we need to focus our efforts in the future. I know colleagues will continue to seek ways in which we can further improve the student experience, and thank them for their ongoing hard work and commitment.”

Jack Palmer, Union Affairs Officer at LUU, said: “To maintain such a high level of satisfaction from our members is brilliant news. This year the £17m upgrade of our building has started, which has challenged our staff to uphold LUU’s high standards of engagement and provision for students. It's excellent to learn that through their dedication we have retained these results.

“We are not an organisation that sits on its laurels, and this year promises exciting new opportunities for students at Leeds as our services are improved and brand new spaces for clubs and societies open up. With so much positive change ahead of us, I can’t wait to see what we have achieved together with our members this time next year.”

The overall national picture emerging from the NSS shows that the satisfaction rate for students studying at UK universities and colleges remains high at 86%. However, scores decreased for 76 HEIs this year, compared to 63 last year, indicating the ongoing challenge of meeting students’ high expectations. The results mean that Leeds joins the NSS top 20 higher education institutions in the UK for the first time, which includes a number of smaller, specialist institutions which scored highly.

About 312,000 UK final year students responded to the survey, slightly higher than the previous two years.


The 12th National Student Survey (NSS) ran from January to April 2016, 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 13 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 2016 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
2016 Agreed

Change between 2015-16       (percentile points)

Sector average (HEI) 2016
Teaching (Q1 to Q4) 92 91 -1 87
Assessment & feedback (Q5 to Q9) 74 73 -1 73

Academic support (Q10 to Q12)

85 84 -1 82
Organisation & management (Q13 to Q15) 85 85 0 79
Learning resources (Q16 to Q18) 92 91 -1 87
Personal development (Q19 to Q21) 85 85 0 83
Satisfaction with Student's Union 92 92 0 69
Overall satisfaction (Q22) 90 90 0 86

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