Lancaster amongst best in UK in National Student Survey 2023 results

An image of three smiling Lancaster University students on campus, working at a table on laptops and tablets in front of a 'living wall', made up of live plants and greenery © Steve Longbottom for Lancaster University

Lancaster University is among the top universities in the UK for academic support* and providing access to first class learning resources**, according to students responding to this year’s National Student Survey (NSS).

Nearly 88 per cent of Lancaster students rated their academic support positively and more than 91 per cent had a positive view of Lancaster’s learning resources which include its award-winning library, IT services, and ease of access to subject specific resources.

The NSS is one of the largest surveys of its kind and this year considered the views of 339,383 students (71.5% response rate) across 528 universities, colleges and other higher education providers.

Students were asked 28 questions about a range of factors related to their academic experience, including the teaching on their course, assessments, feedback, how well the courses are organised and learning resources.

Among the 128 UK universities included in this year’s survey, Lancaster is ranked 5th for its learning resources, 9th for the organisation and management*** of its courses, and 17th for academic support.

Lancaster students overwhelmingly (93.6%) rated teaching staff as good at explaining things, while 89.2% of our students responded positively about how intellectually stimulating they find their courses, positioning Lancaster 14th in the UK on both measures.

The recently reviewed survey provides information for prospective students and for stakeholders to support a high-quality learning experience.

A new additional question introduced this year focused on freedom of expression and Lancaster ranked 12th out of the 128 UK universities with 88.1% of its students responding positively that they felt free to express their ideas, opinions and beliefs.

Lancaster University’s Pro-Vice-Chancellor for Education Professor Wendy Robinson said: “The NSS is particularly important for us at Lancaster as it provides a measure of our student experience – which is at the heart of everything we do.

“We constantly strive to improve our campus, facilities and teaching so that our students get a world-class, holistic experience that they deserve, so we are delighted to see such positive feedback from them in so many important areas.

“It is great to see our students really rating our world-class facilities and award-winning library, which is a wonderful, inclusive space enjoyed by our community both on and off campus.”

Lancaster University is currently ranked tenth in The Complete University Guide 2024, 12th in The Times and Sunday Times Good University Guide 2023, 14th in The Guardian University Guide 2023 and ranked 122 in the Times Higher Education World University Rankings 2023, making Lancaster 15th out of the 101 UK universities in the table.

It has also risen 24 places in the QS World University Rankings 2024, listed 122 out of 1,500 universities worldwide and the highest-ranked non-Russell Group institution in England.

The NSS rankings referred to above measure Lancaster against 127 other UK universities but exclude further education colleges and specialist institutions.

*Academic support refers to questions: How easy was it to contact teaching staff when you needed to? How well have teaching staff supported your learning?

** Learning resources refers to questions: How well have the IT resources and facilities supported your learning? How well have the library resources (e.g. books, online services and learning spaces) supported your learning? How easy is it to access subject specific resources (e.g. equipment, facilities, software) when you need them?

*** Organisation and management refers to questions: How well organised is your course? How well were any changes to teaching on your course communicated?

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