The National Student Survey (NSS) has recently published their results on Unistats, a comparative website for universities and colleges in the UK.

The NSS is an annual independent survey which compiles data sourced from student feedback, using categories ranging from teaching to learning resources.
Teaching in various subjects at the University of Sussex were ranked by students at between 88 percent and 94 percent, but learning resources did not score as highly.

Students awarded an average of only 72.5 percent in the areas of library resources, general IT and specialist equipment.

Of students who participated in the National Student Survey, 88 percent of University of Sussex students agreed with the statement that ‘overall, I am satisfied with the quality of the course.’

Whilst this is a high percentage, the University of Bath, which holds a similar position to the University of Sussex in the league tables, scored 91 percent in overall satisfaction.

The University of Bath largely credits their higher overall student satisfaction to their learning resources, which scored an average of 86.5 percent.

The Media Studies department at Sussex, who supply and use extensive electronic learning resources, did slightly better than average on the learning resources rating, yet significant numbers of students felt dissatisfied with the resources offered. When media students were questioned by the NSS about whether they were able to access the general IT resources, 53 percent answered that they were in complete agreement with the statement.

However, 11 percent of students, a rather sizeable proportion, answered that they were in disagreement.

A current media studies student at the University of Sussex said that “I [am probably] in the 11 percent. I don’t feel I have general access to the IT services on campus. Also I feel that the specialist equipment is not freely accessible either.”

However Dominic Clark, first year media student commented, “I feel the equipment is accessible due to the 24/7 online booking system. The studios are of a professional standard and encourage an atmosphere of creativity.”

Whilst there is disparity of opinion regarding learning resources for media, it appears overall satisfaction for the course is high with overall 90 percent of students agreeing that they were satisfied with the course.
The University of Birmingham did not fare as well on student assessment for their media department, with students ranking the access of general IT resources at 65 percent.
Among the students questioned, only 19 percent responded that they were in complete agreement that they were able to access IT resources: 34 percent lower the ranking of resources at the University of Sussex.

Professor Clare Mackie, Pro-Vice-Chancellor, commented that, “ninety per cent of students completing the 2011 National Student Survey said that they were satisfied with the quality of their teaching, putting Sussex in the UK’s top ten for teaching satisfaction.
“Learning resources is where our scores were disappointing but understandable.
“We had expected this score to suffer as we have been undertaking a complete £6 million refit of the Library for the last 18 months. That work is now completed and I am confident that the improved library services we offer are being welcomed. But we know that students are still experiencing some issues with connectivity. We are investing an additional £1.3 million to bring the service up to a level expected of one of the top universities in the country.”

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