18th August 2009, 11:39am
Lincoln business and law courses top national student poll
Business Students Accounting at the University of Lincoln has been placed top in the country for student satisfaction - and overall Lincoln is again ranked in the top third of universities nationally.

The latest National Student Survey results show that, out of 79 institutions offering a degree in Accounting, Lincoln is number one for student experience, having achieved second place in 2008.

The results are based on the average score across 22 questions* in a survey conducted by Ipsos-Mori on behalf of the Higher Education Council for England (HEFCE).

Tim Thompson, Senior Lecturer in the Accounting and Finance teaching team said: “Achieving first place in the NSS rankings reflects the teaching team’s continued commitment to excellence in student support, teaching and learning.

“Having established a top two position last year, we were determined to find ways of further enhancing the student experience and we are delighted to be recognised in this way by our students. This result could not have been achieved without the first rate contributions of our administrative and learning support colleagues.”

Amanda Young, 23, graduated last year with a first class honours degree in Accountancy and Finance and is now working at international accountancy firm Ernst and Young. She said: “The teaching staff on the course were all brilliant tutors. They were passionate about the subjects they taught and ensured every student fully understood each aspect. The University is very modern and has a wide range of educational facilities in the library and buildings.”

A number of other courses offered by the University’s Business and Law Faculty have also received a major vote of confidence from undergraduates, making them some of the most highly rated in the country.
Human Resource Management came second out of 22 institutions, Marketing third out of 53, Management eighth out of 76 and Law tenth out of 92.

The Faculty’s reputation is set to be further enhanced next year with the opening of its new dedicated building – currently home to the Lincolnshire Echo. The landmark building conversion, led by the architect behind the iconic Great Central Warehouse Library and the Engine Shed, will be another spectacular addition to the campus when it opens next year.

A limited number of places on the University’s business and law courses beginning in September are still available.

Following a major Students' Union-led awareness raising campaign, two-thirds (1,716) of final year Lincoln undergraduates took part in this year’s survey - a response rate significantly above the national average. The average score across all subject areas saw the University move up to 41 out of 154 institutions, placing it in the top 30 per cent for the second year running.

University Registrar Chris Spendlove said: “To enhance the quality of the student experience requires the commitment of staff across the University. All members of the University should therefore be proud of these impressive results. We work in partnership with the Students’ Union to gather feedback from students and to act upon it. The National Student Survey is an essential part of that process, providing an objective and independent analysis of where we are doing well and where we can make further improvements.”

President of the Students’ Union Chris Charnley added: “It’s important to remember when looking at this year’s NSS results that these students are the first set of full fee payers. With the increase in fees for students, many are now demanding a higher standard of student experience today than they did before. It’s therefore encouraging to see that more than four out of five students remain satisfied in 2009.

“The partnership the Union shares with the University is constantly developing. The fact student feedback from the survey was above the national average gives a clear reflection of how collectively both parties try to ensure the views and opinions of students are heard. Our relationship enables us to ensure that students receive the best student experience here at the University of Lincoln. Speaking as a graduate and SU President, this is something I’m very proud to say."

Across the University, the biggest climb of any subject area was Architecture, which saw a sharp rise in student satisfaction, resulting in a ranking of fifth out of 41 institutions.

Derek Cottrell, Senior Academic at the Lincoln School of Architecture, said: “The high overall score for Architecture reflects the continuing efforts of all staff in the School, academic, administrative and technical, to enhance the quality of the student experience. The outcome is high quality teaching and learning which ensures our graduates are confident and well suited to practise their chosen profession.

“This achievement echoes an excellent RIBA Validation Board report which also recognises the quality of work in the School.”

With one of the largest social work undergraduate provisions outside of the London region, the University was particularly pleased to see a significant improvement in the student experience in this subject area, now ranked thirteenth out of 79 institutions.

Nigel Horner, Deputy Head of the School of Health and Social Care, said: “We are delighted with this improved score, which is a testament to the professionalism of all staff members.

“While within the social work community we are all awaiting the final report of the Government’s Social Work Taskforce in October, the University of Lincoln has made great efforts in recent years to open up new placement opportunities for students, to enhance academic standards and to create a curriculum with the voice of service users, carers and other stakeholders at the centre.”

The NSS is a national initiative, conducted annually since 2005. The survey runs across all publicly funded Higher Education Institutions (HEIs) in England, Wales, Northern Ireland, and participating HEIs in Scotland. Additionally, since 2008, Further Education Colleges (FECs) with directly funded higher education students in England have been eligible to participate.

The survey asks final year students to provide feedback on their courses in a nationally recognised format. There are 22 questions, relating to the following aspects of the student learning experience:

  • Teaching on My Course
  • Assessment and Feedback
  • Academic Support
  • Organisation and Management
  • Learning Resources
  • Personal Development
  • Overall Satisfaction

*Responses to the questions are categorised as:
1= definitely disagree 2= mostly disagree 3= neither agree nor disagree 4= mostly agree 5= definitely agree.
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