Durham student satisfaction drops in National Student Survey

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Durham University has seen a marked decrease in student satisfaction across the board, according to the recently published National Student Survey. 

When asked if they agreed with the statement “Overall, I am satisfied with the quality of the course”, 80.86% of Durham Students said they were, a decline from 87.31% in last year’s survey. Of 28 questions, only three saw an improvement for the University.

Other significant decreases include in questions on Learning Resources (down an average of 12%), Assessment and Feedback (down 6.2%) and Student Voice (4.39%). A question on the academic representation of Students’ Unions saw the DSU ranked lowest in the country

The University told Palatinate they welcomed the results and that the decrease was in line with a “general deterioration” of student satisfaction in UK universities during the pandemic. Last year, Durham’s overall satisfaction saw an increase of 2.3% on 2019.

Durham’s overall satisfaction score in the National Student Survey, which is only open to undergraduate students in their final year of study, still puts Durham in the top 20 nationally and in the top 4 in the Russell Group.

In a statement, Durham Students’ Union said the result “demonstrates a wider sense of concern about several areas of the student experience at Durham”, noting that “as an SU, we’ll be paying attention to how the University addresses these over the next year”.

A Durham University spokesperson said: “We welcome the results of the National Student Survey 2021 and would like to thank our students who took the time to participate. We take student feedback very seriously and use it to improve our offer year on year.

“These results showcase the ways in which we excel as a world-class university and also highlight the areas where we can listen, learn, and improve in our efforts to provide unrivalled education and student experiences.

“The Covid-19 pandemic has made this a very challenging year for all universities, staff and students, and the NSS results show a general deterioration in student satisfaction across UK universities during 2020/21. We have worked extremely hard to support our students throughout this time and look forward to welcoming them for what we hope will be an inspiring 2021/22.”

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