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St Andrews University tops student happiness poll

St Andrews University students were generally positive about their education. Picture: Jane Barlow

St Andrews University students were generally positive about their education. Picture: Jane Barlow

St Andrews University has been ranked top in Scotland after a poll for student satisfaction.

The National Student Survey (NSS) found that 93% of students were “satisfied or very satisfied” with the overall quality of their university education.

St Andrews in Fife ranked first in Scotland and second in the UK behind Bath University.

More than 250,000 final-year students at UK universities were questioned on topics including teaching, personal development, learning resources, assessment and feedback.

St Andrews students gave their university top marks for course teaching, academic support and organisation and management.

Vice-Principal Professor Lorna Milne said: “These results are a welcome and continuing vote of confidence in the quality of our teaching staff and the close contact they have with our students in St Andrews.

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“I’m very proud of the standards our students achieve and it is gratifying to see them rate their university equally highly.”

St Andrews - whose graduates include the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge - came joint first in the poll with the Open University in Scotland.

There are currently 16,000 students studying for qualifications through the Open University in Scotland, which also scored 93%.

Director James Miller said: “We are delighted once again at the positive feedback from our students which is testament to the commitment of all our staff.

“Since we were founded over 40 years ago, student support has been at the heart of what the OU does, with students supported throughout their qualifications with unique tutor arrangements.

“These distinct features of The Open University undoubtedly contribute to the recognition we receive year-on-year in the National Student Survey.”

The poll found that students studying at Scottish universities were marginally more satisfied with the quality of their course than those studying in England and Wales.

According to the survey 86% of full-time students at Scotland’s universities expressed overall satisfaction with their course compared to 84% south of the border.

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Students in Scotland were as content, or more satisfied, with the stimulation their studies provided compared to last year.

More students found library resources and services met their needs and a higher number reported having access to specialist equipment and facilities as well as general IT resources.

Students were also happier with the speed and quality of feedback received for coursework, the survey found.

Alastair Sim, director of Universities Scotland, which represents Scotland’s 19 higher education institutions, said: “Recording improved or equal satisfaction from students in 20 out of 22 measurements this year is evidence of the high quality of education delivered by universities in Scotland.

“This survey builds on the excellent figures we learned earlier this summer that graduates from Scotland’s universities are more likely to be in positive destinations of work or further study after six months than anywhere else in the UK and are also commanding the highest average starting salaries and lowest levels of unemployment.”

 

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