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The vast majority of students were satisfied with their university course in 2020, despite the Covid-19 lockdown from March, a sector-level analysis of the National Student Survey results has found.
Jonathan Baldwin, managing director of higher education at Jisc, looks at the changing role of post-Covid university leadership and the enduring need for collaboration.
The government's announcement of a major review of the National Student Survey signals a worrying shift in the HE regulatory landscape, warns Jon Scott, higher education consultant and former Pro Vice-Chancellor (student experience) at the University of Leicester.
Statements from ministers this week have made it clear that higher education in England is facing significant reforms, re-setting its focus towards helping to plug the UK's skills gaps and rebuilding the economy. Fariba Soetan, Policy Lead for Research and Innovation at the National Centre for Universities and Business, argues that the proposed changes bring a welcome focus on graduate outcomes and supporting the careers of young people.
Universities UK and GuildHE have commissioned the Quality Assurance Agency to develop a new approach to reviewing and enhancing the quality of UK TNE. QAA will consult on a new review method later this year and will launch a programme of in-country enhancement activity in 2021.
Loughborough University has been named University of the Year for the second time in three years in the latest Whatuni Student Choice Awards.
The awards, based on over 41,000 student reviews collected from 150 UK institutions, saw post-92 universities largely outperformed their Russell Group counterparts in all categories this year.
The University of Sheffield was the only Russell Group institution to make the shortlist for the University of the Year category, while both Newman University and Norwich University of the Arts entered the top 10 in the University of the Year category for the first time.
Similarly, the North of England, along with Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, made more appearances in the top 3 than those in the South of England, and the Royal Agricultural University alone represented the South in the University of the Year category.
Commenting on the results, Simon Emmett, CEO at IDP Connect, said: "This year, high average review scores across all WUSCA categories demonstrate a widespread effort from UK institutions to both listen and respond to the needs of students. With the recent challenges facing the sector, to have obtained such high reports of satisfaction across all universities, including those outside of The Russell Group in key categories like Course and Lecturers, is a credit to the value and outstanding experience students feel they are receiving in their higher education. This is something the sector should be incredibly proud of achieving and these outstanding results would be welcomed in many other sectors during this difficult time."
The full list of award winners are:
Accommodation Category: University of Wales Trinity St David
Societies and Sports Category: Loughborough University
Students Union Category: University of Sheffield
Local Life Category: University of Strathclyde
Further Education College Category: DN Colleges Group
Giving Back Category: Nottingham Trent University
Prospective Student Engagement Category: Norwich University of the Arts
University Facilities Category: Loughborough University
Independent Higher Education Category: Oxford Business College
Postgraduate Category: Aberystwyth University
Student Support Category: Leeds Arts University
Job Prospects Category: Harper Adams University
Course and Lecturers Category: University of Wales Trinity St David
International Category: Aberystwyth University
University of the Year Category: Loughborough University
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