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Aston students pleased with the quality of courses

Embargoed until 0001 on Thursday 22 September

Aston students pleased with the quality of courses

STUDENTS at Aston University in the heart of Birmingham have reported particularly high levels of overall satisfaction with the quality of their courses in the first National Student Survey (NSS) covering England, Wales and Northern Ireland.

Aston gained an overall average satisfaction rating of 4.1 out of five, above the UK average of 4.0, which puts the University in the top 35% of UK higher education institutions. Subject areas with particularly strong ratings included Business and Management subjects, Pharmacy, Optometry (quoted as allied to Medicine in the report) and Languages.

The response rate for Aston University students was also well above the average in most subjects. This shows how keen the University is to encourage its students to share their experiences and that communications between the University and its students are strong. Students feel that they are a valued and central part of the Aston University community.

Aston was rated particularly high by its students for personal development, being in the top quartile for most subject areas. This is a reflection of the emphasis on sandwich placements in business and industry that around 70% of Aston students undertake, giving them valuable experience and usually a paid salary as well. This in part explains why the University has a consistently strong record for graduate employment success.

Aston students are encouraged to further enhance their transferable skills through career development modules, presentation skills and team projects present in many of the University’s degree programmes. The Students’ Guild (Aston’s Students’ Union) is extremely active in encouraging participation in clubs, societies and other student activities, which not only provide a strong social life but also build students’ confidence and experience.

Graham Hooley, Senior Pro-Vice Chancellor at Aston said: ‘We are glad that so many Aston graduates took part in the survey and particularly pleased at how satisfied they were with the overall experience of studying here. It’s a real endorsement of the high-quality student experience that we aim to provide for all our students.’

ENDS

For further press information about Aston University’s results please contact Sally Hoban on 0121 204 4552.

For information about the national results contact:

HEFCE: Roger Grinyer, tel 0117 931 7303, e-mail r.grinyer@hefce.ac.uk, or Philip Walker, tel 0117 931 7363, p.walker@hefce.ac.uk, or the NUS: Liz Hutchinson, tel 0207 561 6504, e-mail liz.hutchinson@nus.org.uk

Notes to editors

1. The anonymous national survey is part of the Teaching Quality (TQI) web-site, which will go live on Thursday 22 September. The site will enable prospective students to access information about higher education institutions in England, Wales and Northern Ireland. The TQI web-site is part of an initiative to make more information available to applicants and their advisers, and will help prospective students make better informed decisions about what and where to study.

2. Most students who were near the end of undergraduate courses (Bachelors degrees, foundation degrees, higher education certificates and diplomas) were invited to take part, totalling 287,425 full-time and part-time students across the UK. A very small proportion of part-time students who completed the survey may have not been in their final year. The selection of students invited to take part was the same for all institutions using data collected centrally by the Higher Education Statistics Agency.

3. Students responded to questions on the quality of teaching on their own particular courses. Courses were then grouped into 41 different subject areas in order to present the results more accessibly.

Employable Graduates; Exploitable Research