Imperial celebrates London top spot, as NSS results are revealed

(Credit: Thomas Angus)
(Credit: Thomas Angus)

Student satisfaction at Imperial has increased overall, according to the most recent National Student Survey (NSS)

The university is now ranked first among fellow London Russell Group universities for student satisfaction with teaching and second placed among all Russell Group institutions nationally for teaching. Imperial has also ranked first among London Russell Group universities when accounting for overall student satisfaction.

Alongside Teaching, the Survey results show that satisfaction levels have increased markedly in a variety of areas - Student Voice, Learning Opportunities, Academic Support, and Learning Resources.

This year’s survey closed on 30 April 2023 and the response rate from final year undergraduates was 72%.

Reflecting on the academic year

Professor Hugh Brady , President of Imperial College London said: "These results confirm Imperial College London is one of the best universities in the world to be a student. Our innovative approach to education, world-changing research, vibrant London base, and diverse community continues to attract brilliant students from all over the world and it’s good to see this reflected in these latest National Student Survey results and our world top-ten ranking."

Imperial’s Vice-Provost (Education and Student Experience) Professor Peter Haynes said: " These results reflect our community’s continued efforts to prioritise the quality of our education and student experience.

"We can be confident that we are making the right decisions in partnership with our students, resulting in our campuses offering vibrant and collaborative opportunities for learning.

"I want to thank all the teams across Imperial for their dedication in supporting our students with their academically rigorous programmes. I also give thanks to the Imperial College Students’ Union, who have ensured the student voice has been heard and has influenced Imperial’s decision-making.

"As a community we must now look to the future and the next academic year. We hope to continue to offer an experience that maximises the benefits of our world-leading facilities and approach to digital technology, while also further strengthening our pastoral and financial support during the cost-of-living challenge."

Investing in the student experience

Education: A uthentic learning experiences continue to be a core part of the Imperial experience in a variety of subjects, such as The Constructionarium, a Civil Engineering programme covering ’constructibility for design.’ Students form companies to manage and build scaled down versions of real engineering projects (e.g. 1:10 Gherkin skyscraper) at a bespoke construction site. Students are supported by Imperial staff and joined onsite by engineers from industry partners. The course aids the transition from theory to practice, converting students of engineering to student engineers.

In addition, the Mass Casualty for Remote Medicine, is a new project which gives students access to a simulated mass casualty scenario, in this case the aftermath of an explosion which takes place at a nightclub. The student in this scenario takes on the role of a first-line responder who is responsible for triaging people who have different levels of injury. Students experience a scenario that they might not otherwise encounter during their medical training, or that can be difficult to create outside of using virtual reality.

(Credit: Thomas Angus)

S paces: A key part of Imperial’s Learning and Teaching Strategy has been to invest £34m in physical teaching and learning spaces. Whenever student spaces are redesigned, students are also involved as co-designers through the StudentShapers programme.

Investments have included a major refurbishment of the Central Library to create a modern study space configured for the way in which today’s students work, alongside refurbishment of two floors of a former research building to provide 415 flexible ’GoStudy’ spaces for students - including space for silent and group study, and ’breakout’ space. These are in use 83% of the time, demonstrating their popularity as a concept.

Efforts are also underway to continue the transformation of formal teaching spaces from spaces designed for presentations into more flexible uses. These will increasingly support traditional lectures, interactive learning and teaching including group work, and flipped lectures.

(Credit: Thomas Angus)

Support: The College recognises that mental health represents an increasing challenge for students. To address this, Imperial has supplemented the established team of Mental Health Advisors with Mental Health Intervention Officers who provide early intervention and support departments with guidance and training.

Faculty-level Student Wellbeing Advice teams have also been introduced, who are able to support cases that are too complex to be dealt with at departmental level but which do not need to be escalated to the Counselling Service.

As well as increasing the mental health and wellbeing support on offer to students, the causes of stress are also being tackled. By reviewing the entire curriculum in past recent years, teachers made space and time for a greater variety of learning and assessment. In the second phase of ’Curriculum Review’, departments will continue to address workload and stress concerns by further adjusting the types of assessment available, and by partnering with students to design assessments that reduce stress levels.

(Credit: Thomas Angus)

Plans for the future

The College continues to refresh its approach to the learning experience, with students at the very heart of decision-making surrounding their education.

Improvements to the College’s campuses and support services will also continue, with further investment and consultations planned for the future.

This set of results follows a series of achievements for the College over the past years, including its best-ever results in the UK’s Research Excellence Framework (REF) . Imperial was named The Guardian University of the Year 2023 and named top for Graduate Employment in The Times/The Sunday Times Good University Guide 2023 .