National Students Survey: Aberystwyth maintains strong satisfaction numbers

ABERYSTWYTH University maintains 83% overall student satisfaction according to The National Student Survey published today, Wednesday 12th August. The Survey is an indication of how well Universities have served their students and provided satisfying services throughout the duration of their studies. This marks the second year in a row that the University has hit 83% in student satisfaction, and misses their benchmark of 86% by three percentage points.

Overall Aberystwyth University sits at 111th for student satisfaction in the United Kingdom and is tied with universities such as, Cardiff Metropolitan University – who have dropped three percentage points since 2014, and University College London who are also down by 3% points since last year’s survey.


Within Welsh Higher Education Institutions (HEIs) Aberystwyth University are fourth overall for student satisfaction with Bangor University (91%), Swansea University (91%), and Cardiff University (90%).

There have been standout successes within certain degree programmes at Aberystwyth University and student satisfaction levels, including the Physics and Geography programmes achieving 100% overall satisfaction and 97% satisfaction respectively. The renowned International Politics department also ranked highly boasting a 90% to 97% satisfaction for the quality of teaching in the various degree schemes available in the department.

Within the Institute of Biological, Environmental and Rural Sciences (IBERS) department, research-led biology courses: Biology, Genetics, Animal Behaviour, Anmial Science and Zoology all scored between 91% and 100% for quality of teaching, and also improved on the area of student feedback.

Additionally the European Languages program, who have an emphasis on in-country learning and employability, achieved 90% overall satisfaction.

Vocational programmes like Childhood Studies and Tourism Management also achieved success with 94% and 92% overall satisfaction respectively.

Despite not improving in overall satisfaction there are key areas that the University has managed to improve on, based on previous surveys and students identifying them as areas for improvement.

Satisfaction with Assessment and Feedback is up 5 percentage points, and Organisation and Management are also up by 4% compared to last year’s survey. In addition to this satisfaction with learning resources has risen for the second year in a row, to 84% compared to the 80% it was in 2013.

Other areas that have improved include are satisfaction with Academic Support, Personal Development and the Students’ Union.

As a whole 86% of students at Aberystwyth University responded positively about the standard of teaching on their course, with 83% stating that they were satisfied with their overall experience as a student at the University.

Professor John Grattan, Pro Vice-Chancellor for Student Experience and International expressed delight with the results of the National Students Survey and states that it shows the University has responded to issues students have had. He went on to praise the teaching staff:

“The dedication and commitment of our teaching staff are reflected in the results achieved, with 9 academic departments and 19 degree programmes outperforming the sector for teaching excellence, and some truly outstanding performances on individual courses. It is particularly rewarding to see satisfaction with learning resources continuing to rise.”

He also went on to discuss the next steps to further improving students satisfaction levels with the University:

“This summer sees the completion of a three-year £8.1m investment programme to upgrade teaching and learning facilities on Penglais and Llanbadarn, and it is good to see these new facilities having a positive effect on our students’ learning experience. One thing is clear; we won’t be resting on our laurels. In the year ahead, in partnership with our students, we will continue to work to improve our teaching and the quality of the feedback our students receive and build on the excellent progress we have made this year. Coupled with the most recent assessment of research quality and excellent employability figures, Aberystwyth University is well on the way to restoring its reputation as one of the best places in the world to be a student.”

The National Student Survey results for Aberystwyth University continue a perceived success in the University’s performance following the 2014 Research Excellence Framework (REF2014), and the significantly improved employability figures released in July by the Higher Education Statistical Agency.

REF2014 showed that 95% of the research activity that was submitted from Aberystwyth University was of an internationally recognised standard or higher, with world leading research identified in all 17 of the Units of Assessment submitted.

Aberystwyth University ranked second out of 126 HEIs for improvement in employment performance over the year, which was up by 6% – from 85.5% to 91.4%. In addition to this the University was third out of 120 HEIs for improvement in the numbers of graduates entering a professional level work or graduate level further study over the year – which was up by an impressive 9%.

The University is also currently investing over £100m in new facilities, to try and improve student satisfaction with the university. The new £45m student residences on Fferm Penglais is set to open in September, a year after it was originally set to open, and is touted by the university as offering some of the best student accommodation available in any university in the UK.

An investment of £8.1m has been made into a major upgrade to learning and teaching facilities, which is also to be ready for returning students at the beginning of the 2015/2016 academic year, and is set to provide the latest multimedia technology in seminar rooms and lecture theatres.

In addition to all of this, work is about to begin on a new £40.5m innovation and enterprise campus at Gogerddan, and plans for the transformation of the Old College are also being drawn up to the tune of £20m.