The University of Glasgow has ranked joint first in Scotland and joint third in the Russell Group in the 2015 National Student Survey (NSS), achieving a score of 90 in the ‘overall satisfaction’ league table.
In a year in which the top positions were dominated by institutions which are not members of the prestigious Russell Group of universities, the University of Glasgow lost just one point in terms of overall student satisfaction, dropping from 91 per cent in 2014 to 90 per cent in 2015.
In Scotland, Glasgow shared first place with the University of Dundee. Across the United Kingdom, it came twenty-first along with the universities of Cambridge, Bath, Durham and Exeter, amongst others. In the 2014 survey, it came joint eighth in the United Kingdom.
Respondents each answered 23 questions relating to their course, student unions, as well as overall satisfaction with their university. As well as being joint top in Scotland, Glasgow University also had 15 subject areas in the top ten in the UK.
The questions range from “have staff made the subject interesting?”, to questions about IT support, library resources, as well as questions about personal development. Students are also given the opportunity to express any positive or negative feedback they have regarding their university experience.
Professor Anton Muscatelli, principal and vice-chancellor of the University of Glasgow, stressed the importance of students enjoying their time at the University. He is quoted on the University’s website as saying: “I am absolutely delighted that the University of Glasgow has been rated number one in Scotland, and as one of the very top universities across the UK by our students. This is another outstanding result for Glasgow and underlines the importance that everyone at the University places on ensuring that our students enjoy a brilliant learning experience to provide world class teaching and support and access to some of the best facilities anywhere in Britain.”
The National Student Survey (NSS) is an annual survey, launched in 2005, of all final year undergraduates attending higher education institutions within the United Kingdom. It is intended to gauge the opinions of those that are about to complete their undergraduate degrees at British universities, as well as other publicly funded higher and further education institutions.
The NSS is run by Ipsos Mori, the second largest market research company in the United Kingdom, commissioned by higher education funding bodies in England, Wales, Northern Ireland, and participating Scottish higher education institutions such as the University of Glasgow. According to the website of the NSS, at least 50 per cent of all eligible students must respond to the survey in order for an institution’s results to be made publicly available. Although the NSS has faced criticism in recent years, the National Union of Students, of which the University of Glasgow is not a member, claims that the information gathered is ‘used to help shape courses and change them for the better’.
As well as topping the charts in the NSS, Glasgow University was also named Institution of the Year at the prestigious Herald Higher Education Awards. Liam King, president of the SRC, said:”Overall, the results confirm what many students at Glasgow will know already: that the University of Glasgow is an excellent place to come to study.”