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University Campus Oldham

UCO celebrates ‘fantastic’ National Student Survey results for 2023

UNIVERSITY Campus Oldham (UCO) is celebrating after its latest crop of graduates rated it above the sector average across all themed categories* of the National Student Survey (NSS) 2023.

The NSS, overseen by the Office for Students (OfS), is an independent survey asking final year undergraduate students’ opinions about a range of factors related to the quality of their course across all publicly funded higher education institutions (HEIs) and further education colleges (FECs) in England and Wales, and HEIs in Northern Ireland and Scotland.

It measures how positively a student feels through 27 questions – with experimental NSS theme scores then created by adding up the positive responses rates of related questions. More than 339,000 final year UK students gave views on their higher education experience in 2023 and these annual results are seen as the national benchmark of success.

UCO (the Higher Education provision of Oldham College) received positive theme responses higher than the sector average this year for its teaching, assessment and feedback, learning opportunities, academic support, organisation and management, learning resources and student voice.

Compared to all Greater Manchester FECs, UCO also got the highest positive responses to questions about its’ Learning Resources (88.8 per cent). This theme combines positive responses about its IT resources and facilities, library resources, plus the ease of access to subject specific resources**.

Sue Holden, UCO’s Assistant Principal, HE and Higher Skills, said: “This is a fantastic set of results – with a very high response rate of 85 per cent – and a wonderful endorsement of what UCO delivers for our students.”

“We really value their feedback because it gives us insight on how to improve each year, so it’s inspiring to see such positive responses about our academic experience and the support our staff provide across all courses.

“To score more than 90 per cent positive responses for our teaching, learning opportunities, assessment and feedback and academic support is superb and it shows how distinctive the experience we offer is for our students.

“UCO students enjoy a special community with a close-knit and supportive environment. Our smaller class sizes mean they get personalised support and help they might not get elsewhere and that can propel them to excellent outcomes, regardless of their background and circumstances.”

Other NSS 2023 highlights for UCO included:

  • 93.8% thinking teaching staff made their subject engaging (13.3% above sector average)
  • 91.3% saying courses have the right balance of directed and independent study (15% above sector)
  • 92.5% believing their course challenges them to achieve their best work (8.3% above sector)
  • 92.5% agreeing their course developed the knowledge and skills they think they will need in the future (10.8% above sector)
  • 87.5% believing that feedback helped them to improve their work (15.3% above sector)
  • 74.7% agreeing it was clear their feedback on the course is acted upon (13.8% above sector).

A new question was added to this year’s NSS to explore freedom of expression. UCO had 88.8 per cent positive responses about students feeling free to express their opinions and beliefs during their studies – almost 3 per cent above sector average.

The NSS also asked students how well communicated information was about mental wellbeing support services. UCO scored a 97.5 per cent positive response on this – more than 22 per cent above the sector average.

Since opening in 2005, UCO has helped thousands of students to achieve their goals at both Foundation Degree and full Honours Degree level. It partners with globally recognised universities and institutions to deliver accredited qualifications at its town centre campus, including the Open University, Pearson, the Chartered Management Institute, University of Huddersfield, Sheffield Hallam University and UCLan.

Places are still available for courses starting in September 2023. The easiest way to find out more, or apply for a place, is to go direct to UCO either through the website at uco.oldham.ac.uk or by emailing the HE Admissions team at info@uco.oldham.ac.uk or calling 0161 344 8800.

* A list showing the 27 NSS questions and their relation to the NSS experimental themes can be viewed here

** The national NSS survey results are available here.

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