Accessibility navigation

National Student Survey 2021 results


A rising percentage of finalists have provided feedback in the National Student Survey, as the response rate rose this year to 70.84%, up from 70.03% in 2020.

2,507 University of Reading undergraduate finalists participated in the National Student Survey in 2021, in a year that has seen major impacts due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

While we are pleased that we are in line with the sector for overall satisfaction at 74%, obviously this represents a drop from last year’s 84%.

This year’s NSS asked students specifically about their experience in relation to the pandemic. We are pleased to see that the majority of our finalists reported being able to access the learning resources they needed (76%), felt protected from the virus (77%) and received useful information about any changes to their course (69%). It is also great to see that satisfaction with our Students’ Union was above the sector average.

Thanks to the hard work of colleagues across the University to reshape our teaching and learning delivery more or less overnight, we scored above the sector averages in important areas. Students recognised that colleagues have been contactable when needed (82%) and students felt that they have had the “right opportunities to work with other students” (78%) and the “right opportunities to provide feedback” (82%) as part of their course.

At discipline level, three  areas achieved an overall satisfaction score of 90% or above, including: Archaeology (92.6%); Biomedical Engineering (92.9%); Typography and Graphic Communication (94.7%).

Vice-Chancellor, Professor Robert Van de Noort said:

“I would like to thank the many students who shared their views with us this year in the National Student Survey.

I am very grateful to all colleagues who have worked immensely hard to mitigate the impact of COVID-19 and support our students personally and academically. I am also very proud of how our students adapted so quickly to a different way of learning and engaging with their studies.

“It’s obviously disappointing to see a decline in overall student satisfaction, both here at Reading and across the sector. This year’s results clearly demonstrate the impact that COVID-19 has had on student experience. We are very grateful for the high number of finalists filling out the NSS and we need to continue listening to our students’ feedback to ensure we offer our students the best possible experience, particularly as we will no doubt be living with the virus for some months yet.

“We have a number of activities underway that respond to some of the concerns raised through NSS feedback, such as learning capture, ongoing student partnership work and our Strategic Foundations Programme.

“We stand firmly by our principles set out in our 2020-2026 Strategic Plan, which clearly defines our commitment to continually improving the student experience. Feedback from our students and colleagues, through the National Student Survey and other means, helps to focus our efforts to ensure that their time at Reading is productive, enjoyable and meaningful.”

Feedback from surveys like the NSS is hugely valuable, helping us to better understand where things are working well and where we could improve. We are committed to working in partnership with our students to enable them to reach their full potential, personally and academically.

Thanks to colleagues across the University for your valuable support in promoting the NSS and other surveys to your students.

The full results are publicly available on the Office for Students website.

Next steps

Detailed analysis of NSS and UK Engagement Survey (UKES) data will be shared with Heads of School and Function and relevant University committees will consider the common themes and areas for improvement. We will keep colleagues and students updated with progress and actions taken.


Page navigation

Search Form

Main navigation