Magazine article The Times Higher Education Supplement : THE

NSS 2015: £9K Tuition Fees Fail to Dent Satisfaction

Magazine article The Times Higher Education Supplement : THE

NSS 2015: £9K Tuition Fees Fail to Dent Satisfaction

Article excerpt

Results may determine which universities can charge higher fees. Chris Havergal reports

Undergraduate satisfaction has held steady despite the introduction of £9,000 tuition fees in England, according to the 2015 National Student Survey.

Eighty-six per cent of the more than 300,000 final-year undergraduates who responded to this year's survey said that they were satisfied with their UK higher education experience, the same as the 2014 results.

Levels of dissatisfaction and strong dissatisfaction were also unchanged, at 5 per cent and 2 per cent respectively. Another 7 per cent were neither happy nor unhappy with their experience.

This year's results are the first to include undergraduates who paid higher tuition fees, which were introduced in England in 2012. The overall satisfaction score for England only was also unchanged, at 86 per cent.

Nicola Dandridge, the chief executive of Universities UK, said that the maintaining of record levels of satisfaction was "testament to the hard work of university staff".

"The shift in England from public funding to increased fees means that students are understandably, and rightly, demanding more from their university courses," Ms Dandridge said. "Universities are responding to this and are also improving the amount of information to students about courses to ensure that their experience matches their expectations."

The most highly rated university in this year's NSS, excluding small and specialist institutions, was Keele University, which scored 95 per cent overall, up two percentage points.

The universities of Essex, East Anglia and Surrey all scored 92 per cent.

Jules Pretty, Essex's deputy vice-chancellor, said: "Student expectations are higher than ever before and universities with consistently strong NSS results such as Essex are showing they are meeting those expectations. …

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