FE colleges top national student satisfaction survey

Darren Evans

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Eight further education colleges have gained student satisfaction ratings of 100 per cent for the quality of their higher education courses, a new survey shows.

Nationally, 86 per cent of undergraduates are happy with their degree course, according to the results of the latest annual National Student Survey (NSS), published today. 

The poll questioned more than 300,000 final-year students at 156 HE institutions, 190 FE colleges and five private institutions about every aspect of their educational experience.

Eight FE colleges in England had satisfaction ratings of 100 per cent, and 21 others had satisfaction ratings of between 90 and 97 per cent.

The figures represent a huge increase compared to last year’s survey, in which just one FE college gained a 100 per cent satisfaction rating.

Those with perfect scores this year were: Bournville College, Central Bedfordshire College, Eastleigh College, Kendal College, Kensington and Chelsea College, Leeds College of Building, South Devon College and West Herts College.

No higher education institution in England scored higher than 98 per cent (Brighton and Sussex Medical School), and the University of Keele, Hull and York Medical School and the independent University of Buckingham all scored 95 per cent.

A report from the Quality Assurance Agency for Higher Education (QAA) last December found the FE college environment gives students on HE courses a learning experience that “exceeds expectations.”

Nick Davy, higher education policy manager at the Association of Colleges, said: “Higher education is a big part of what colleges offer and it is fantastic to see such recognition of this provision from the students themselves. The fact that a number of colleges received a 100 per cent satisfaction rates from their students is a real testament to the high quality education and training that colleges provide.

"Colleges specialise in providing technical and professional alternatives to the three year residential degree. They enable students to study closer to home with lower tuition fees, often with smaller class sizes offering more individual tuition.”

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Darren Evans

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