University of Hertfordshire top in the East of England for overall student positivity, according to National Student Survey

 1 January 2024 16 August 2023
16 August 2023

The University of Hertfordshire has been ranked the number one university in the East of England for overall student positivity*, according to the latest National Student Survey (NSS).

Results from the 2023 survey showed Herts achieved above the sector average across all survey themes for overall student positivity. This placed it top among East of England universities (among providers listed in the Complete University Guide), and 26th nationally according to the Times Higher Education's overall positivity score (questions 1-26).

This year, the annual, independent survey, carried out by the Office for Students, was generated from the feedback from 339,000 students across 528 higher education providers on seven different themes: teaching, learning opportunities, assessment and feedback, academic support, organisation and management, student voice and learning resources.

The results represent the % positivity across all questions, with Herts scoring well across all themes, and receiving the highest positive responses for learning opportunities, organisation and management and student voice. Based on experimental statistics from the 2023 NSS, students rated their learning opportunities 84.1% positively, compared to the sector average of 81.4%; organisation and management at 77.7% positively, compared to the sector average of 73.6%; and student voice at 74.8% positively, compared to the sector average of 71.9%.**

A change in methodology this year also saw two new questions added to allow students to reflect on mental health and freedom of speech. For the question, “How well communicated was information about your university/college’s mental wellbeing support services?”, 77.9% of students gave a positive score, above the sector average of 76%. For the question, “During your studies, how free did you feel to express your ideas, opinions, beliefs?”, 86.5% scored positively, against the sector average of 84.8%.

Professor Mairi Watson, Pro Vice-Chancellor Education and Student Experience at the University of Hertfordshire, said:

“These are fantastic results that speak to our hard work over the past few years, and to our ongoing commitment to the student experience. A huge thank you to everyone who has contributed to these results and also to those who helped promote the survey to our students. It’s rewarding to see that our students have recognised and appreciated all the work that has been carried out to help them achieve their goals.

“We will now work with students and staff across the organisation to respond to the survey feedback and implement any changes for the next academic year, to continue to give students the best possible experience as a brand-new cohort join our community.”

For more information about the NSS, see the Office for Students website; or search our courses to start your undergraduate journey with Herts.

*measured by % of positivity across questions 1-26 in the National Student Survey 2023, for all providers listed in the Complete University Guide

**The following scores combined to produce these themes:

Learning opportunities: 83.9% of students say they have had the chance to explore ideas and concepts in depth; 85.7% said the course introduced subjects and skills in a way that builds on what they have already learned; 84.1% have had the chance to bring together information and ideas from different topics; 81.5% said their course had the right balance of directed and independent study; and 85.4% said the course has developed their knowledge and skills that they would need for the future.

Organisation and management: 75.5% of students said their course was well-organised; 80.1% said any changes to teaching on their course were well communicated.

Student voice: 81.6% of students said they get the right opportunities to give feedback on their course; 76.3% said students’ opinions about the course are valued by staff; 66.7% said it is clear that students’ feedback on their course is acted on.


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