With ifs University College participating in the National Student Survey (NSS) for the first time, Vice Principal Hema Tank explains what the results mean for our students and the improvements to the student experience they can expect when returning to the classroom in September.
Among the near half a million final year undergraduate students to complete the 2015/16 National Student Survey (NSS) across the UK were, for the first time, those ifs students who have recently completed their BSc (Hons) degrees in Banking Practice & Management, Finance, Investment & Risk and Finance and Accounting for Financial Services.
The National Student Survey is an important barometer for organisations such as ourselves as it provides us with valuable feedback on how our students have found their experiences of studying with us and what we can do to make the learning experience for future generations of undergraduate students even better. In years to come the results of the NSS will only become more important for universities, as the Government’s higher education white paper, published earlier this year seeks to widen access for other institutions to offer degree-level courses, whereby the NSS will provide insight into how organisations compare with one another.
Spread across 23 questions, the survey seeks to gather students’ views on a range of areas related to their courses, from teaching and academic support to the learning resources available and personal development with regards to employability. As a specialist HE provider, ifs is a unique institution which offers a very different learning experience compared to some of the more traditional universities. Consequently, we were pleased that we scored particularly highly in our teaching provision and the structure of our courses; indeed we were very proud that overall satisfaction among students for our banking and finance courses was the highest among our competitors in the alternative and specialist institution space, with the quality of teaching and their level of academic strength being particularly praised.
That said, as an organisation, ifs is not one to rest on its laurels and the NSS provided us with some food for thought on how we can improve the student experience we offer even further. Based on the feedback we received, we have already made significant investments in our learning and resources provision, having officially opened the Henry Grunfeld Library at the beginning of the year in our Lovat Lane campus. In September we will also be unveiling our new dedicated student centre, which provides a space in which students can receive both careers and pastoral support, while we have also boosted our careers and academic offering through senior hires of a Head of Careers and a Vice Principal to oversee the development of the faculty and academic community.
Since gaining the right to award our own taught degrees in 2011, this is the first time that we have participated in the survey and it has allowed everyone involved in our degree programmes to reflect on the experience we provide to our students. We thank our outgoing graduands for their honest feedback which has provided us with a platform to make even greater improvements, which will undoubtedly stand our existing and future years in good stead.
To find out what it is like to study at ifs University College, read our student stories