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National Student Survey 2017: a new chapter in St Patrick’s College history.

National Student Survey 2017: a new chapter in St Patrick’s College history.

13th February, 2017

The recent history of St Patrick’s College is one of encouraging developments and success, such as the positive outcome of the latest Higher Education review by the Quality Assurance Agency. Building on these achievements, the college is now looking forward to taking part in the National Student Survey (NSS) for the first time.

The NSS was launched on Monday 6th February, with an open event for all students. To prepare for this new milestone, the Student Experience department held a presentation for academic and administrative staff, aiming to equip them with the necessary skills and knowledge to engage students and encourage participation.

Part of a bigger picture

Richard Blackwell, Interim Principal at St Patrick’s, shares his insights on what the survey means for the development of the institution.

The NSS enables students to compare student satisfaction in schools, and make a more informed choice on their education path. Starting from this year, the survey will include private institutions as well as public ones, which is an encouraging step towards raising the overall level of quality in higher education in the UK.”

Launched in 2005, the National Student Survey will interview over three million students in more than 300 institutions across the UK. The survey aims to assess undergraduate students' satisfaction with the quality of their learning experience, including an ‘overall satisfaction’ mark.

The NSS will be a great way for us to see how the many changes we implemented over the past few years helped raise St Patrick’s student satisfaction,” said Prof Blackwell.

An opportunity to engage learners

The minimum response rate to qualify for the NSS is 50 per cent, which Prof Blackwell sees as an opportunity to drive student engagement: “Students, much like most of us, are constantly over-surveyed. There is always a request for feedback or opinion, a judgment on the products we buy or the services we use, and so it becomes difficult to take surveys seriously. This is something that might reflect on how students will perceive and respond to the NSS, but we are confident we can communicate how important it is for them to seize this opportunity.

Prof Blackwell also looks at the college’s unique resources to support the survey: “To drive participation, we can count on a passionate Student Experience department with whom our students are already very familiar. The proximity of the campus with students and staff makes it for a more personal approach. Not only are students easier to reach, but we will be able to create better interaction.”

Of course we wish for a very good outcome, and are hoping to confirm the positive result of the past.” An internal survey conducted in 2016 put St Patrick’s above the average for all the alternative providers. “We look forward to the opportunity of learning more from our students and receiving valuable feedback. Most importantly, we welcome the chance to help enhance the experience for future students. The NSS will help us identify our strengths and build upon them. What students say in the survey will influence the college’s direction and approach for the future, therefore students have the opportunity to become a part of St Patrick’s historic legacy.”

Visit the National Student Survey official website to find out more on how to participate.

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