UEA has dropped to third for student satisfaction, the National Student Survey has revealed. The NSS, released earlier today, revealed that student satisfaction has decreased by 1 percent overall, and satisfaction with the Students Union is down by 9 percent. This is down one place from 2015, when the University was ranked joint second.

Final-year, undergraduate taught students are invited to complete an annual questionnaire about their satisfaction with various elements of their university educations, and the results released today show UEA has achieved an overall satisfaction score of 90 percent, down 1 percent from last year. The university only saw increased satisfaction in four out of 21 areas, with two remaining the same from last year. Ahead of UEA is Keele University [1st for the 3rd year running] and Liverpool Hope University [up from 21st in 2015].

The most significant drops on last year have been on Personal and Professional Development [down by three points], and Organisation and Management [down by two points]

UEA scored is joint 46th with institutions such as Newcastle and Leeds for Assessment and Feedback. Whilst the scores had improved slightly from last year, overall satisfaction in this area still remained comparatively low at 73 percent. The school of Law scored just 66 percent for Assessment and Feedback, although this was an improvement on last year’s 63 percent. UEA scored lowest on the question ‘The criteria in marking have been clear in advance’, scoring just 74 percent overall satisfaction.

Commenting on the NSS results for UEA overall, Undergraduate Education Officer Theo Antoniou Phillips said:

“We’re thrilled that UEA retains a top three placing for student satisfaction and a top ten for teaching- students love UEA and this reminds us of why. We’re also particularly pleased that there’s been such an improvement in promptness of feedback reflecting years of SU campaigning on the issue, although drops in satisfaction on things like the fairness of marking reflect our view that the University mustn’t focus on speed at the expense of quality when it comes to getting work back”.

“Whilst overall positive, declines in the scores for ‘personal development’ and ‘organisation and management’ send clear warning signals to Uni management on the need to invest in employability activity and fixing things like hubs and timetabling quickly”.

The biggest decline is satisfaction was towards the SU. Satisfaction towards the Student’s Union has been steadily decreasing since 2012-13, and is now down to just 68 percent overall. The school of Environmental Sciences gave the SU the lowest score of 51 percent, although most other school ratings remained in the 50s and low 60s. The only schools to show increased satisfaction with the SU were the schools of Education, Medicine, Psychology and Health and Social Work. The number of people who have moved from ‘satisfied’ with the SU, to ‘don’t know’ or ‘dissatisfied’ is completely split, indicating that just as many people don’t know what the Union is, or what it does, as are actively dissatisfied with the work it is doing.

Commenting on the drop in the SU satisfaction score, Activities and Opportunities Officer Joe Zilch called the drop “concerning”, and said this “reflects a general view amongst students that too often the SU hasn’t listened to them – pushing partisan campaigns on the student body without proper consultation”.

He continued, “This coming year, along with the other full time officers, we’re planning big changes in the way the SU makes decisions – with a step change in both the content of campaigns and the way in which decisions are reached, so that students feel we’re working on the issues that matter and that they’ve been properly consulted.

“We will announce more detail on these plans in September.”

Prof David Richardson, UEA’s Vice-Chancellor, stated that the university is “very pleased to have once again received such a positive endorsement from our students. We work hard to provide an enjoyable and rewarding experience and to ensure that UEA remains a leading place to live and study”.

He added that UEA’s “focus on each student as an individual, combined with stimulating teaching, an exciting research environment and wide-ranging student support are key to achieving such great results”.

The School of History also released a statement today, thanking their students for giving the school a 100% rating for overall student satisfaction.