Council monitors performance and progress by referencing KPIs for our most important areas of activity. This report refers to a number of these indicators that were established through the period of the University Strategy 2016 to 2021 and summarises the outcomes of the metrics as we come to the end of the period covered by this Strategy. The five areas that we have in our Strategy can be summarised as follows: research power; international influence; graduate education; student experience; and infrastructure.

League table performance

National and International rankings are one of the key performance indicators we monitor. We have remained our high position in domestic rankings, these are increasingly competitive as Universities recognise the importance of these rankings in attracting new domestic students. We are proud of our achievement to be ranked in the top ten in each of the three major national rankings.

Our international rankings are also consistent with last year and these are illustrated below.

Current ranking Previous ranking Publication
Domestic rankings
8th 6th Guardian University Guide 2022
10th 9th Complete University Guide 2022
9th 9th The Times and The Sunday Times Good University Guide 2022
International rankings
166 173 Quacquarelli Symonds 2022 (QS)
201-251 251-300 Times Higher Education Ranking 2022

Teaching

Average tariff scores are used to monitor the quality of our home and EU undergraduate intake and are sourced from The Times and The Sunday Times Good University Guide for Entry standards.

Year of guide Entry standard score Ranking
2022 167 15
2021 174 12
2020 182 12
2019 186 10

These reflect our popularity as a destination. Whilst our entry scores have fallen, they remain high. Entry scores are closely monitored and we have maintained our intake during recent years when the demographics for 18-year olds in the UK fell.

Satisfaction rates %

Satisfaction rates graph

The quality of our teaching is measured by reference to students who either ‘definitely’ or ’mostly’ agree with the National Student Survey (NSS) question 'Overall I am satisfied with the quality of my course.' In 2021, our score was 86.0%, the 4th highest score for Universities UK (UUK) member organisations (previously 88.3%) compared to a sector average, which was in the mid-70s. We have worked hard to maintain the quality of our student experience over two very challenging years and we believe the new strategy will ensure we continue to improve the quality of our student experience.

Continuation rates %

Continuation rates graph

Continuation rates are used as a proxy for student satisfaction and the effectiveness of our student support and welfare structures. At 96.0% (96.2% 2017 to 2018), we continue to perform at a high level.

Research

Grant and contract income per academic FPE (£000s)

Grant and contract income per academic graph

We use grant and contract income per academic Full Person Equivalent (FPE) as a measure of research activity. The chart shows a reduction of 2.3% to £24.0k (£24.6k 2019 to 2020). This reflects an investment in a further 39 academic staff in preparation for the Research Excellence Framework (REF) and the delay in the awarding of grant income for these staff, coupled with the increasing challenge in winning grant awards.

For data relating to academic FPE provisional data is shown for 2020 to 2021.

Postgraduate research students per academic (FPE)

Postgraduate research students per academic graph

Postgraduate research students per academic FPE is another measure of our research performance and we have maintained this metric at 0.80 research student to academic.

For data relating to academic FPE provisional data is shown for 2020 to 2021.

IP/Industrial income per academic (£000s)

IP/Industrial income per academic graph

Intellectual property (IP) and industrial research income per academic is a measure of the commercialisation of our research activity. In 2020 to 2021 this ratio was £2.05k per academic (2019 to 2020 £2.25k) and this modest reduction reflects more our increase in academic staff in advance of REF, coupled with a small fall in income. Our investment in IAAPS will see this measure increase further in years to come, as our industrial research activity is expected to grow significantly.

Infrastructure

Gross internal area in condition A&B %

Gross internal area in condition graph

We monitor the condition of our estate as a measure of the quality of the space we provide. We undertook a substantial condition survey in 2019 using an independent assessor. The condition survey indicated significant investment was required in the Estate. Priority areas for future capital investment have been identified and are being overseen by our Building Board.

Capital additions £m

Capital additions graph

Capital additions were £39.5m (2019 to 2020 £66.3m).

Our capital additions this year reflect the near completion of our two largest ever capital projects with over £140.0m being invested in the IAAPS facility and the new building for the School of Management. Some residual costs remain in 2021 to 2022 when both buildings will be completed. COVID-19 has delayed the opening of both these projects although costs remain within the approved budget for both.

At £5.9m (£10.5m 2019 to 2020) we have continued to invest significantly in equipment to support our activities.

Percentage frequency of use of teaching space

Percentage frequency of use of teaching space graph

The percentage frequency of use of teaching space measures the effectiveness of our timetabling and teaching space management processes. This data was collected pre-COVID-19. Our frequency of use remains at 63%.

The 63% frequency of use compares favourably with our peer institutions.

Post COVID-19 we are working hard to repurpose all our space and ensure it is used as efficiently and safely as possible to meet the needs of our community.

Sustainability

Water use per m2 of Gross Internal Area

Water use per m^2 of Gross Internal Area graph

Water use per unit of building floor area is a measure of one of our key environmental impacts but normalised to take account of growth in our Estate. Water use in 2020 to 2021 fell significantly from 805 units to an estimated 489 units per m2, reflecting the reduced level of activity on campus and in residences throughout the year.

Through efficiency work our consumption continues to fall – actual consumption has fallen over the last 15 years despite the University growing significantly (floor area up by 40%), and the normalised figure has been halved over this period.

Carbon emissions by m2 of Gross Internal Area

Carbon emissions  graph

Carbon emissions per unit of building floor area is a measure of our direct carbon footprint due to energy use, normalised again to take account of campus expansion. The lockdowns due to COVID-19 have caused this metric to increase from 48.7kg CO₂ per m2 to 54.8k CO₂ per m2 reflecting the fixed costs of providing energy across the campus and that energy use was still significant during this period, in particular natural gas consumption which increased by 32%.

Through efficiency work our footprint has continued to fall – absolute emissions have fallen by a third over the last 15 years despite significant growth, and the normalised figure has more than halved.

The future pace of reduction will need to be significantly quicker, however, to achieve our new ambitious carbon targets where we aim to have net-zero energy emissions by 2030.

Our Strategy 2021 to 2026

In October 2020 Council considered a new range of KPIs to support it in monitoring our performance against our new Strategy 2021 to 2026, acknowledging that for some no benchmarking data might be immediately available. Our Strategy 2021 to 2026 expresses our ambition to deliver world-class research and teaching, to educate our students to become future leaders and innovators, and to benefit the wider population through our research, enterprise and influence.

Our Strategy 2021 to 2026 consolidates our strengths and advance our activities in scale and impact through the four pillars:

  • Driving excellence in education
  • Driving high-impact research
  • Fostering an outstanding and inclusive community
  • Enhancing strategic partnerships

To monitor progress against our new strategic objectives, Council approved 12 Key Performance Indicators (KPIs), three per pillar as follows:

KPI Strategic pillar
Education Research Community Partnerships
1 NSS – overall satisfaction Total research income Non-continuation Consultancy and research contract income
2 Graduate outcomes Percentage highly cited papers ONS wellbeing measure QS world ranking
3 Entry qualifications Research partnerships Percentage female professors Local community engagement

This report provides some further information on these KPIs acknowledging that many are new and no historical or current data or benchmarking may exist for them, this will clearly develop over the coming 12 months as the reporting against these progresses.

Driving excellence in education

NSS – overall satisfaction

This KPI is retained from the Strategy 2016 to 2021 and reported in the University Strategy 2016 to 2021 - Key Operating Performance Indicators Review.

Graduate outcomes

This KPI will measure the employability of our graduates. Our current projected completion and employment composite measure is 84.3%.

Entry qualifications

This KPI is retained from the Strategy 2016 to 2021 and reported in the University Strategy 2016 to 2021 - Key Operating Performance Indicators Review.

Driving high-impact research

Total research income

We use total research income as a measure of research activity and growth. We are working towards a substantial increase in annual research revenues over the period of this Strategy. The commencing of IAAPS during 2021/22 will underpin this growth.

Research Grant income in 2020 to 2021 was £37.2m (2019 to 2020 £37.1m).

Research Grant income graph

Percentage highly-cited papers

This KPI will measure the percentage of publications in the top 10% for a period, our current result is 18%.

Research partnerships

This KPI will measure the reach and impact of our Research through our collaborations with other organisations.

Fostering an outstanding and inclusive community

Non-continuation rates

In the Strategy 2016 to 2021 we reported continuation rates as one of the Teaching quality metrics and this is reported in the University Strategy 2016 to 2021 - Key Operating Performance Indicators Review.

ONS wellbeing measure

We will use this as a proxy for student and staff satisfaction and the effectiveness of our support and welfare structures.

Percentage female professors

This is used to measure one element of the diversity within our staff population and the effectiveness of our promotion and recognition of academic staff. We have collected the results of this over recent years and the results are summarised in the table.

Date All professors full-time equivalent Female professors full-time equivalent Percentage female professors
July 2021 229 49 20.9
July 2020 233 50 21.1
July 2019 220 47 21.0

Enhancing strategic partnerships

Consultancy and research contract income

We use total consultancy and research income as a measure of the network of partnerships we engage with. Consultancy and research income is targeted to grow to over £75m by the end of the period of this Strategy. Consultancy and research contract income was £38.8m (2019 to 2020 £38.8m).

Consultancy and Research Contract income graph

QS World rankings

We use the Quacquarelli Symonds (QS) international rankings as a measure for our global reach. This KPI is retained from the Strategy 2016 to 2021 and reported in the University Strategy 2016 to 2021 - Key Operating Performance Indicators Review.

Local community engagement

We measure this through a number of interactions between us, our students and staff, and the citizens of Bath & North East Somerset and the immediate area. Many of these interactions are currently recorded in the annual Higher Education Business & Community Interaction (HE-BCI) survey which collects financial and other output data. Included are activities intended to have direct societal benefits such as the provision of continuing professional development and continuing education courses, and the provision of, for example, lectures, exhibitions, and other cultural activities. The exact metric(s) to be used for this are still to be determined and this will be included in next year's Annual Report and Accounts.