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Press release

  • 11 September 2008

University of Sussex leaps ahead in student survey

Moving on up: Sussex has improved its National Student Survey score

Moving on up: Sussex has improved its National Student Survey score

The University of Sussex has recorded one of the biggest improvements of all universities, and the best of all institutions in the elite 1994 and Russell Groups, in the National Student Survey (NSS) results for 2008, published on 11 September.

The NSS asks finalist undergraduates 22 questions across a range of measures - teaching, academic support, assessment and feedback, learning resources, organisation, personal development and overall satisfaction.

Overall satisfaction rose from 78 per cent to 86 per cent and teaching scores from 84 per cent to 88 per cent, putting Sussex among the best institutions for these measures. The overall score for Sussex, across all 22 questions, was just over 75 per cent, up from under 69 per cent in 2007, a strong increase in absolute terms, and one of the largest of any university in the country.

Vice-Chancellor, Professor Michael Farthing said: "These results reflect positively on the student experience at Sussex - with very good teaching scores and measures of overall satisfaction. The improvements we have seen in 2008 are the result of efforts by academic staff and professional services staff to focus on all aspects of the student academic experience. I am confident that we will see further improvements as Sussex continues to build an excellent all-round experience for all our students."

The overall increase in scores was the biggest increase of all the Russell and 1994 Group universities, which represent research-led institutions in the UK.

Over recent years, the University had put in place specific action plans for all departments to make improvements in the student academic experience. These include giving better online access to assessment scores and ensuring better access to academics for advice and support. Measures to strengthen the library services - with 24-hour opening from January 2008 - have also proved popular with students.

For the future, there are new initiatives to improve the student experience at Sussex:

  • The Sussex Plus initiative, which will help students to enhance and document the skills they develop through extra-curricular activities, such as volunteering and student societies;
  • Creation of a new state-of-the-art teaching building at the heart of campus for 2009-10;
  • More student residences on campus, with high-quality en suite provision;
  • Better use of library space for both formal and informal learning;
  • Improvement of cafes and catering on campus;
  • A newly created senior post of Head of Student Support and Experience from autumn 2008 who will lead on work to further improve the student experience.

The NSS is just part of the range of student feedback mechanisms used at Sussex to help improve the student experience. The University makes use of it own detailed surveys of second-year undergraduates and postgraduate students, as well as the independent International Student Barometer, course evaluation questionnaires and the student reps scheme.

Notes for editors

The NSS results can be viewed online at:

University of Sussex Press office contacts: Maggie Clune or Jacqui Bealing. Tel: 01273 6778 888 or email



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