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Key operational performance indicators

We use KPIs to measure our performance regarding research power, global influence, student experience, and more. Part of the Annual Accounts 2022/23.

Annual Accounts

Our strategy

Our vision is to be an outstanding and inclusive University community, characterised by excellence in education, research, and innovation, working in partnership with others for the advancement of knowledge, in support of the global common good.

We seek to advance our impact by:

  1. Driving excellence in education
  2. Delivering high-impact research
  3. Fostering an outstanding and inclusive community
  4. Enhancing strategic partnerships

To ensure that we are progressing towards the strategic goals, we monitor twelve strategic Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) outlined in the table below:

Strategic Pillar
KPI Driving Excellence in Education Driving high impact Research Fostering an outstanding and inclusive Community Enhancing Strategic Partnerships
1 National Student Survey (NSS) – teaching on my course Income from research grants and contracts Continuation rate Consultancy & research contract income
2 NSS – satisfaction with assessment and feedback % highly cited papers Staff engagement index QS world university ranking
3 Graduate outcomes Knowledge Exchange Framework (KEF) research partnerships % female professors Local community engagement

Note: Two of our KPIs – namely, teaching on my course and assessment and feedback – have been updated this year in line with the National Student Survey changes.

Driving excellence in education

NSS – teaching on my course

To ensure the quality of our teaching, we monitor the proportion of students that positively respond to questions within the teaching on my course section of the National Student Survey (NSS). We aim to exceed its benchmark score (a weighted sector average) by at least 2.5 percentage points. This year we exceeded the target with the score 89.0% compared with a benchmark of 84.8%. Since the 2023 survey was significantly different to previous iterations, the results are not comparable with prior years.

Graph showing student satisfaction rates

NSS – satisfaction with assessment & feedback

Bath is ahead of its benchmark group in six out of seven NSS survey themes. Assessment and feedback is the only section of the NSS where Bath is behind the benchmark. As such, this area has been prioritised for improvement and Assessment and feedback chosen as one of our twelve KPIs. Although scores are not comparable with prior years, Bath continues to move closer to its benchmark, suggesting that our improvement plan is working.

Graph showing student positivity score of our assessment and feedback compared with NSS benchmark

Graduate outcomes – progression to graduate-level employment or further study

Bath’s strong student outcomes are evidenced by its performance in the Graduate Outcomes Survey. With respect to each of the last four graduating cohorts of first degree students, Bath has met its target to outperform its benchmark by at least 2.5 percentage points. Bath’s progression rate continues to be amongst the very best in the sector.

Graph showing percentages of graduates progressing to employment or further study compared with benachmark

Driving high-impact research

Income from research grants and contracts

Research income is seen as a key measure of the relevance, sustainability, and peer recognition of the University’s research activity. A target has been set to grow annual income to £75m by 2025-26. In 2022-23 Bath’s income was £45.0m, up from £40.5m the year before. Research awards – the pipeline of future income – grew from £47.8m (2021-22) to £63.3m (2022-23).

Graph showing Research Income

Percentage of highly cited papers

The University monitors the percentage of research papers that are highly cited as a measure of both the vibrancy and quality of its research. A target has been set to improve by 1 percentage point per annum, from a baseline of 18% to 23%, by the end of the current strategy period. In the most recent publishing period, our percentage of highly cited papers dipped slightly below its baseline, a trend that is consistent with the sector average. Nonetheless, this shift needs to be reversed and the University is currently running up-skilling workshops to help address this.

Graph showing percentage of highly cited papers

Research partnerships

The research partnerships indicator published by Research England as part of the Knowledge Exchange Framework (KEF) is composed of two underlying metrics:

  • the cash contribution to collaborative research as a proportion of public funding
  • co-authorship with non-academic partners as a proportion of total outputs.

Bath currently ranks in the top 40% of the sector (45th out of 135) for Research Partnerships. We are currently working on implementing a plan that moves it to the top 20% of the sector by 2025-26.

Graph showing Bath's KEF research partnership rank

Fostering an outstanding and inclusive community

Continuation rates

First degree continuation rates are monitored as a measure of how supportive our learning environment is. Increasing to 98% in 2020-21, we continued to exceed its target of 95% or 2.5 percentage points above the benchmark. Bath’s continuation rate remains amongst the very best in the sector.

Graph showing continuation rates

Percentage of professors who are female

This metric allows us to measure one element of diversity within the staff population and the effectiveness of efforts to address the gender gap at senior levels. Despite the year-on-year volatility, the overall trend has been upward and is something that we will continue to improve.

Graph showing % of Female Professors

Staff engagement index

This indicator is based on a set of questions from an internal work and well-being survey. The questions relate to staff’s pride in working for us, support provided by their manager, feeling part of a community, and satisfaction with work-life balance. We have seen improvements over the last 18 months and have plans in place to continue on this upward trajectory.

Graph showing staff engagement index

Enhancing strategic partnerships

Income from consultancy and contract research

Income from consultancy and contract research is an indicator of the strength of our partnerships with business and industry. Bath aims to grow by 5% per annum from a baseline of just under £5m to £6.3m by 2025-26. We reported rises in 2021-22, with plans to further accelerate this growth over the coming years, primarily driven by IAAPS increased research contracts.

Graph showing Consultancy and Research Contract income

QS World University Rankings

We use the Quacquarelli Symonds (QS) international rankings as a measure of international peer recognition, which should be strengthened by our educational alliances and research partnerships. In recent years our overall ranking has fluctuated between a high of 158th and a low of 173rd. Currently, we are ranked 179th and our target is to be ranked higher than 150th by 2025/26. To facilitate an improvement, we have created a Working Group to consider the actions required to improve our ranking.

Graph showing Position in QS World Rankings

Local community engagement (attendees at public events)

Our number of attendees at public events, is an indicator of social, community and cultural engagement. The number will fluctuate from year to year, but a target has been set for an average of 70,000 attendees a year. Largely due to COVID-19, we have seen lower engagement over the last two years. We are currently seeing encouraging signs of recovery.

Graph showing number of attendees at public events

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