Universities that have scored the best and worst for overall satisfaction in a survey of student nurses have been revealed, following exclusive analysis by Nursing Times.
This year’s National Student Survey results, published earlier this month and carried out by Ipsos Mori, revealed just two UK universities saw 100% of nursing students “strongly agree” or “agree” they were satisfied with the quality of their course overall.
“We feel confident that the issues raised have either already been addressed or are in the process of being addressed”
University of Southampton spokesman
These two best scoring universities across the UK were the University of Edinburgh and Queen Margaret University, Edinburgh, according to the survey, published by the Higher Education Funding Council for England (see table below for full results).
Meanwhile, the lowest scoring UK universities were the University of Southampton, with just 49% of undergraduate trainees saying they were satisfied with their training, the University of Abertay Dundee with 58%, the University of Suffolk scoring 59%, and Cardiff University with 65%.
In England, Leeds Beckett University was rated the best, with 98% of student in agreement that they were satisfied with their course, while in Wales the University of South Wales and Swansea University scored the highest, both with 92%.
In Northern Ireland, out of the two course providers there, the University of Ulster scored 84% and Queen’s University of Belfast saw 90% agreeing they were satisfied with their nursing course.
The average score out of the 52 universities in England taking part in the survey was 83%, while in Scotland it was 84% among 10 course providers, and in Wales it was 83% among four universities. Some were not included in the poll because too few students responded.
“We are …reviewing course delivery and providing additional resources to enhance the student experience”
The University of Southampton said it was “bitterly disappointed” with the survey results and that it had carried out detailed analysis of the root causes of why students were dissatisfied.
“We feel confident that the issues raised have either already been addressed or are in the process of being addressed. We will continue to engage with our staff and students to ensure that our programmes are of the highest quality,” said a spokesman for the university.
“We take the results of the NSS very seriously and are committed to delivering the excellent experience our students deserve,” he added.
A spokesman for Abertay University in Dundee said this year’s survey results for its mental health nursing programme were based on a small cohort of 11 students and did not reflect results seen in previous years.
“As a university, we continually seek to improve standards and this data will be taken into consideration as part of that process,” he said.
The University of Suffolk noted that some of its nursing courses – such as its child health nursing degree and work-based mental health nursing programme – scored 100%.
“We are developing a culture which celebrates and marks learning achievements”
Professor Brendan McCormack
However, head of department for health sciences at the university, Paul Driscoll-Evans, said the university recognised that other courses did not do as well.
“We are therefore reviewing course delivery and providing additional resources to enhance the student experience,” he said.
Meanwhile, Cardiff University described its results as “disappointing”, noting that some of its other health undergraduate programmes, such as midwifery, had been rated 96% for overall satisfaction.
A university spokeswoman said it would tackle any issues with an “urgent and thorough” response. Ongoing work to improve experiences included setting up panels to address issues early on, and increasing financial support to trainees to allow them to take part in clinical placements overseas, she said.
“We are also advertising several new appointments within the school, including a lead for student engagement and experience who will ensure an in-depth evaluation of student experience and facilitate a co-productive approach with students on quality improvement initiatives,” said the spokeswoman.
“We are committed to providing an outstanding student experience for all our students,” she added.
At the universities with the highest scores, many attributed their success to factors including providing opportunities for one-to-one support and events to mark student achievements.
“Our students value being part of a vibrant and diverse learning community which… listens to their voice and encourages their feedback”
Professor Brendan McCormack, head of the division of nursing at Queen Margaret University, Edinburgh, said: “We are delighted that QMU’s nursing has achieved 100% student satisfaction score in the National Student Survey.”
“The division of nursing at QMU has a departmental philosophy of person-centredness and person-centred learning, and this is firmly embedded in our nursing programmes,” he said
“In addition, we are developing a culture which celebrates and marks learning achievements,” he added referring to the introduction of an annual awards ceremony at the QMU campus for student nurses, academic staff and staff within the NHS who support trainees.
The University of Edinburgh said that having the longest-running university nursing degree programme in the UK meant it developed a programme that “provides the breadth and depth of knowledge and skills required to provide excellence in patient care”.
It highlighted that its small cohort of 40 students and provision of one-to-one support meant tutors knew each student personally and were more able to tailor their experiences.
“Our students value being part of a vibrant and diverse learning community, which provides opportunities for them to work with other students, listens to their voice and encourages their feedback,” said Maggie Carson, programme director for undergraduate nursing.
|University with nursing course/s||Students who ‘agreed’ or ‘strongly agreed’they were satisfied overall with course quality|
|Leeds Beckett University||98%|
|Manchester Metropolitan University||94%|
|The University of West London||93%|
|The University of Birmingham||92%|
|Edge Hill University||92%|
|The University of Liverpool||92%|
|The Open University||91%|
|Liverpool John Moores University||91%|
|The University of Essex||90%|
|City, University of London||90%|
|University of Keele||89%|
|Birmingham City University||88%|
|The University of Bradford||88%|
|University of Worcester||88%|
|The University of Huddersfield||88%|
|University of the West of England, Bristol||87%|
|University of Northumbria at Newcastle||86%|
|The University of Surrey||86%|
|University of Chester||86%|
|The University of East Anglia||85%|
|University of Hertfordshire||85%|
|London South Bank University||85%|
|The University of Northampton||85%|
|The University of Bolton||85%|
|The University of Leeds||84%|
|The University of Hull||83%|
|Canterbury Christ Church University||83%|
|Sheffield Hallam University||83%|
|The University of Salford||82%|
|University of Derby||82%|
|Buckinghamshire New University||82%|
|University of Wolverhampton||82%|
|University of York||81%|
|Anglia Ruskin University||81%|
|De Montfort University||81%|
|University of Greenwich||81%|
|Oxford Brookes University||80%|
|University of Central Lancashire||78%|
|The University of Cumbria||76%|
|The University of Nottingham||75%|
|University of Bedfordshire||75%|
|University of Plymouth||75%|
|University of Lincoln||72%|
|University of Brighton||70%|
|University of Suffolk||59%|
|University of Southampton||49%|
|Queen Margaret University, Edinburgh||100%|
|University of Edinburgh||100%|
|University of Glasgow||97%|
|University of Dundee||90%|
|University of the West of Scotland||88%|
|Glasgow Caledonian University||81%|
|University of Stirling||80%|
|Edinburgh Napier University||78%|
|The Robert Gordon University||70%|
|University of Abertay Dundee||58%|
|University of South Wales||92%|
|Queen’s University of Belfast||90%|
|University of Ulster||84%|