National Student Survey 2021 results out now

Fewer students positive about their course amid pandemic

The author(s)

  • Sami Benyahia Research Director
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The National Student Survey (NSS) 2021 results have now been published. Unsurprisingly, this year’s results show a significant decline in student satisfaction with students reporting particular issues around the availability of learning resources after months of disruption due to the Covid-19 pandemic. Overall, 75 per cent of the 332,500 UK students who took part are satisfied with the quality of their course – (83 per cent in 2020). 

Specific questions about students’ experiences during the pandemic show that less than one in two students said they were content with the delivery of learning and teaching of their course during the pandemic and only four ten of students agreed that their university or college took sufficient steps to support their mental wellbeing. The majority (80 per cent) said their university or college had taken sufficient steps to protect their physical safety (providing protective equipment, social distancing on campus, offering distance learning opportunities).

The survey is conducted by Ipsos MORI. It is funded by the four UK higher education funding and regulatory bodies: Office for Students, Scottish Funding Council, Higher Education Funding Council for Wales and the Department for the Economy, Northern Ireland.

The NSS is the largest survey of students' views in the UK. This year, 69 per cent of eligible students from nearly 400 universities, colleges and private providers took part. The NSS 2021 data can be found on the OfS website: NSS data

Sami Benyahia, Research Director at Ipsos MORI, said:

Seventeen years on and the National Student Survey continues to attract high levels of student participation with nearly seven in ten final year students completing the survey. We continue to see strong evidence that the majority of students value their courses despite the expected decline in student satisfaction and concerns about availability of learning resources amidst the prolonged Covid-19 pandemic. Ipsos MORI is proud to deliver the NSS on behalf of the funding and regulatory bodies.

The author(s)

  • Sami Benyahia Research Director