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University celebrates hat-trick of success with rises in student applications, student satisfaction, and student employment

The University of Gloucestershire is celebrating a trio of successes after achieving rises in the number of undergraduate applications for study this Autumn, the satisfaction of students with their experience at the university, and the proportion of new graduates going into employment or further study.

The university’s overall satisfaction rate in the 2016 National Student Satisfaction Survey (NSS), released today (10 August), rose 3 percentage points to 86%*. That is better than the average for all universities in England (85%) and also better than the university’s benchmark calculated by HEFCE (also 85%).

This follows publication last month of the Destination of Leavers from Higher Education (DLHE) data which shows that 95.0% of University of Gloucestershire graduates were in employment or further study after leaving the university at the end of the 2014/15 academic year. This is an increase on the previous year’s figure of 94.3% and better than the national average across all universities of 93.9%.

These results come as the university prepares to head into the Clearing period at the end of a record year for recruitment with 9% more undergraduate applications through UCAS this year than last year. This is well above the average increase in applications through UCAS across the university sector this year, which is less than 1%.

In these latest NSS results, eight** of the university’s courses scored a maximum 100% satisfaction. The university scored higher than the rest of the university sector in six key areas: course teaching, assessment and feedback, academic support, organisation and management, learning resources, and personal development.

The university also scored above the rest of the sector for measures aligned to the new Teaching Excellence Framework (TEF), which have been included in the NSS results this year for the first time. The Government has announced plans to introduce the TEF to identify and promote great teaching and learning for students. For course teaching, the university’s TEF score was 89 against the sector average of 87, for assessment and feedback the university scored 75 against the sector score of 73, and for academic support the university scored 85 against the sector score of 82.

Vice-Chancellor, Stephen Marston, said: “2016 is an excellent year for the University of Gloucestershire. NSS and DHLE data are key indicators of how well a university is performing. I am delighted that these latest results show we are making real progress, both in providing a good experience for our students while they are studying with us, and in preparing our students for employment when they graduate.

“It is a great tribute to the commitment and hard work of our staff that the university is rated above the sector average for England in both the NSS and DHLE datasets. I am particularly pleased with the University’s performance in the Government’s new measurements related to Teaching Excellence. Giving our students great teaching that enables them to learn and develop their full potential is core to the university’s mission. The fact that the university has scored higher than rest of the sector in each of the three TEF measures of course teaching, assessment and feedback, and academic support reflects both the skill and dedication of our teaching staff, and strong student support outside of the lecture hall.

“It is particularly welcome that the progress we are making is reflected in an increase in our applications. A 9% increase in applications through UCAS this year is a significant achievement given the average growth rate across the sector of less than 1%. This increase will support the university’s ambitious growth plans, including the completion of our new Pittville Student Village in Cheltenham in September 2017, and the development of the Business School, sports facilities and student accommodation at the Oxstalls campus in Gloucester ready for September 2018.”

*This figure is from the NSS results by teaching institution file and excludes collaborative partners.

**Sports Coaching (including Sports Coaching & Development), Advertising, Criminology, English Literature, Popular Music, Sports Strength and Conditioning, Creative Writing, and Photojournalism and Documentary Photography.