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Consistently achieving high levels of student satisfaction – University of Reading

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Consistently achieving high levels of student satisfaction

Release Date 27 September 2012

Students outside Palmer

The University of Reading is ranked in the top 25% of higher education institutions in the UK for the quality of the student experience it provides.

The University's students gave Reading courses an 88.5% satisfaction rating in the National Student Survey 2012, ensuring that the University maintains its consistent success in the annual survey of student satisfaction.

Three of the University's departments - Archaeology, Clinical Language Sciences and Mathematics, scored 100% satisfaction levels, with a further 14 departments being rated at 90% or above¹. Students Unions were rated for the first time in the survey this year and Reading University Students Union (RUSU) was rated as the sixth best student union in the country.

Year on year, Reading students have rated the quality of the teaching on their courses highly. In 2012, their replies to the survey have rated staff as good at explaining things (91%), the enthusiasm of the teaching staff (89%), their courses are intellectually stimulating (88%) and staff make their subjects interesting (84%).

Sir David Bell, Vice-Chancellor of the University of Reading, said: "This year's National Student Survey results once again demonstrate the quality of the student experience we offer at Reading.  We are here to provide a stimulating, challenging and supportive academic experience to talented young people and we are proud that our students consistently rank Reading as one of the top university experiences in the UK.

"In an education environment in which students are investing heavily in their futures, it is more important than ever that all students have the best information on which to base their decisions, so that everyone has access to the best education. Data such as the NSS is, of course, just one of the many criteria upon which students and parents will base their decisions. Nothing is a proper substitute for going to see for yourself and that is even more true when it comes to choosing a university."

The NSS is a key component of the new Key Information Set (KIS) data source, published this week, which will provide clear and easily understood information on undergraduate courses to prospective students and their parents.

James Fletcher, President of Reading University Students Union (RUSU), said: "We are very pleased that RUSU was rated amongst the top six students unions in the UK in the first time that the NSS has assessed students' union satisfaction amongst students. More broadly, RUSU and the University, working together, will ensure that students here receive a university experience that provides more than just a degree so that they can leave education with the necessary skills to achieve in the job market."  

The next Open Days for prospective students to visit the University of Reading take place on Saturday 6 October and Saturday 27 October. 

The NSS figures are available on the Unistats website,


Further information from Alex Brannen on 0118 378 8005

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Notes to editors:

¹14 subject areas at University of Reading were rated at 90% or over - Typography, Art History, Classics, Philosophy, Law, English Language, English Literature, German, Management, Real Estate and Planning, Biological Sciences, Chemistry, Geography and Environmental Sciences, Statistics and Electronic Engineering.

The National Student Survey (NSS) is a national initiative, conducted annually since 2005. The survey runs in the first quarter of the year across all publicly funded Higher Education Institutions (HEIs) in England, Wales, Northern Ireland, and participating HEIs in Scotland.

The survey asks final year students on undergraduate courses or equivalent to provide feedback on their courses in a nationally recognised format. Students are asked to indicate the extent to which they agree with a series of positive statements relating to the following aspects of the student learning experience: 68% of eligible Reading students contributed to the NSS.

The results of the survey are provided to participating institutions to help inform future practice and experience enhancement, and are also made available to prospective students and schools as part of the suite of data and information about universities on Unistats, the UCAS-managed website.

The KIS has been developed by the English, Scottish and Welsh higher education funding councils and with the Department of Employment and Learning in Northern Ireland in collaboration with universities, colleges and students. It brings together information about UK undergraduate courses in a unique and exciting way:

  • data are clearly presented in an accessible, easy-to-use format
  • uses official, impartial sources that students and their advisers can trust
  • easy to compare course data.

The KIS contains information that students and careers advisers have said they want to know about: student satisfaction, graduate employability, tuition fees and finance, accommodation and lots more.

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