Students Staff

3 February 2020

What do you think? We want to know!

Filed under: News — Laura Mathias @ 10.55 am

As three major student surveys are going live today (Monday 3 February), Professor Madeline Eacott, Pro-Vice-Chancellor for Education, sets out seven takeaway facts about the surveys, why they matter, and why you should complete yours…

Here at Essex we believe in putting student success at the heart of everything we do.

This year, the NSS survey of final year undergraduates – plus the UKES survey for our first and second year undergraduates, and the PTES survey for our postgraduate taught Masters students surveys – give the University the opportunity to get direct, anonymous feedback from you about how we’re doing– and of course, this gives us an opportunity to improve.

So why bother completing your survey?

Please take a few minutes to read these key facts, as we strive to ensure all Essex students receive an excellent and transformational education.

Professor Madeline Eacott

Professor Madeline Eacott

Professor Madeline Eacott, Pro-Vice-Chancellor for Education

Seven student satisfaction survey takeaways:

1. On Monday 3 February the 2020 NSS, UKES and PTES student surveys will launch.

All three run until Thursday 30 April, but we’d suggest you fill yours in as soon as you’re asked, so you don’t get more email reminders from Ipsos Mori! You’ll be invited by email to complete the survey that’s right for you, complete with a dedicated link to the survey website. If you get stuck, ask your departmental office or email for help.

2. We really value hearing from you. Essex response rates are usually good: last year we reached a 76.8 per cent. Can we do better this year? We think so!

Plus, for every survey completed £1 will be donated to local charities chosen by SU members in Colchester, Southend and Loughton – and those pounds really add up. Last year we raised more than £3,000 for local good causes – let’s beat this sum in 2020!

3. The results of these surveys are hugely important. At Essex, we really value your voice.

Your responses give us an opportunity to get valuable anonymous feedback, so we have the opportunity to listen, and respond, to do things better.

4. Once the results are in, this is what happens next. We make improvements, based on what you’ve told us.

Each department considers comments about their courses and will put quick and longer term plans in place based on your ideas and feedback. We also analyse results at university level to see where broader issues come to light, such as about library or IT services.

5. The results also become publicly available to help new students choose which university to study.

NSS results are made public at Discover Uni to help prospective students decide where to study. UKES results are used to help us understand other experiences of undergraduate students who aren’t eligible for the NSS and make improvements to your university experience whilst you are still studying with us. Meanwhile the PTES survey helps us gain insight from our PGT community, again to improve not only your experience but the experience of those that will follow you.

6. When it comes to making meaningful improvements, students are at the heart of the process.

Your feedback, plus continually working with the SU, helps us understand how we can use survey data to improve student satisfaction. For example, departments now hold student focus groups to understand how they can better support their students’ learning. One result from this has been the launch of gathering in-module feedback from you, to ensure that modules are going well.

7. The kinds of questions you’re asked vary depending on the survey you complete.

But, whatever the survey, NSS, UKES and PTES questions are designed to help universities understand more about your academic and wider living and learning experience as an undergraduate or postgraduate taught student – what is working well for you and what could be improved? We really do value the feedback and insight – not only to improve the student experience for current students, but those of the future too.

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