The University of Bath has again performed strongly at institutional level in the National Student Survey, scoring above the UK Higher Education sector benchmarks in 24 of 27 questions in NSS 2023, and in six out of seven survey themes. Bath’s scores placed it in the top quartile for the sector for 17 of the 27 questions, when comparing member institutions of Universities UK (UUK).

The results in 2023 are not directly comparable to NSS results in previous years due to significant changes to the methodology of the survey. These changes include removal of an ‘overall satisfaction’ question (for HE providers in England), response options moving from a five-point scale to a four-point scale, and that scores are expressed as a ‘positivity’ measure instead of the previous ‘percentage agree’. New questions for students at English HE providers have also been introduced in 2023.

This year saw two questions added for the first time, on communication about the provider’s mental health provision, and freedom of expression, with Bath scoring above the sector benchmark for both. Benchmarks are weighted sector averages that are calculated by the Office for Students (OfS) to adjust for factors which contribute to an institution’s NSS results, such as subject mix, mode and level of study, and student demographics.

Professor Julian Chaudhuri, Pro-Vice-Chancellor (Education) said: “I’m very pleased to see that Bath has recorded a set of excellent results this year, and especially so given we saw our joint highest-ever response rate from our undergraduate students. I’m also delighted to see our ongoing work enhancing assessment and feedback being seen in the upward trajectory, which means our approach is bringing benefit to students.

“I would like to thank all those students who took the time to respond to the survey and, of course, our staff who have played such a central role in delivering this result.”

The National Student Survey (NSS) is an independent survey that gathers final year undergraduate students' opinions on the quality of their course. The NSS is run once a year on behalf of the UK funding and regulatory bodies in England, Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales. This year the survey was open to all University of Bath part-time undergraduate distance learners after a pilot trial in 2022.