Durham University’s satisfied students

Ettie Bailey-King

Durham University Students rank among the most satisfied in the UK, according to the 2011 National Student Survey (NSS).

The independent survey is delivered by Ipsos Mori. This year it surveyed 267,000 students at institutions across England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.

The survey assesses their satisfaction in seven areas relating to university experience: teaching; assessment and feedback; academic support; organisation and management; learning resources; personal development and overall satisfaction.

Durham received its highest ever rating this year as 90 percent of students expressed overall satisfaction, compared to a national average of 83 percent.

Courses such as Theology and History received particularly high ratings, with satisfaction rates of 100 and 98 percent respectively.

Students were especially pleased with teaching quality. 92 percent described their course as “intellectually stimulating”.

Durham’s strong result is reflected in a thirteen-place rise up the NSS league tables, moving to eleventh place. It also ranks eighth out of full-subject universities in the UK.

With rises in six out of seven areas, improvements appear to be consistent.

The results of the NSS are displayed on website unistats.co.uk, where prospective students can compare satisfaction levels between courses and universities.

Durham’s lowest recorded satisfaction rate stands at 77% (for Zoology).

Professor Anthony Forster, the Deputy Vice-Chancellor at Durham University, commented: “We are delighted that our students rate their experience at Durham so highly.” He attributed Durham’s considerable student satisfaction levels to the combination of “world-class educational experience” with a “close-knit academic community”.

Scott Parker, Durham Student’s Union Education and Welfare Officer, noted that “student support forms the foundation of the system”. He cited “Durham’s distinctive collegiate structure” as a reason that students “leave Durham with the best possible opportunity to develop and succeed in life.”

Durham’s performance in the NSS complements improved league table results in 2012.

The 2012 Complete University Guide ranked Durham as the fifth best institution
in the country.

The University is ranked 85th in the Times Higher Education World Universities table, and the 2010 QS World University Rankings placed Durham in the top 25 globally for the reputation of its graduates among the world’s blue-chip employers.

The University is investing more than £100 million towards a new library, law school, sports facilities and student services site.

Deputy Vice-Chancellor Anthony Forster suggests that these will “further enhance the student experience at Durham.”

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