Student engagement | University of Oxford
Degree Day, Oxford
Degree Day 2009, Oxford, UK
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Student engagement

The collegiate University continually works to ensure that you receive the best student experience during your time here. By giving your feedback you can help identify strengths and weaknesses at Oxford University, while influencing future improvements.

Tea with the Vice-Chancellor

The Vice-Chancellor, Professor Louise Richardson, is holding a series of afternoon teas (approx. 20 students will be invited to each tea) to enable her to meet with a range of student members from the colleges. The teas are organised by undergraduate, graduate taught and graduate research groupings, currently there are three a term. If you would like to express your interest in attending an upcoming afternoon tea, please contact the Dean’s assistant of your college. 

Vice-Chancellor's open office hours 

The Vice-Chancellor is holding open office hours three times a term. University student members are welcome to request a 15-minute appointment to raise any topic. Places are allocated on a first-come, first-served basis and the meetings take place in the Vice-Chancellor's office at Wellington Square. For upcoming dates and appointment requests, visit the University website.

Student Barometer

The Student Barometer surveys full-time and part-time undergraduate, postgraduate taught and postgraduate research students. Final year undergraduates are excluded as they are surveyed in the National Student Survey (NSS). The survey enables the University to benchmark your feedback on the student experience from application to graduation, against those of 120 other universities.

An extract of student feedback from the Student Barometer 2014 results:

Academic:

  • 96% satisfaction for the quality of tutorials for both undergraduate and postgraduate taught courses.
  • Explanation of marking and assessment criteria has seen notable improvement, with satisfaction rising 7% in Barometer rankings over four years, reflecting the University's continued efforts in this area.
  • 97% of students are satisfied with the online resources available to them at the University.
  • Teaching opportunities for research students has seen a 4% rise in satisfaction over four years. The University will seek to further improve opportunities for teaching.

Careers:

  • Satisfaction levels regarding the Careers Service have increased to 91% following initiatives including:
  1. The Student Consultancy which assists up to 100 students (undergraduate, postgraduate and DPhil) working on projects in small teams with local organisations every term.
  2. The Oxford University International Internship Programme and CareerConnect facility which offer hundreds of opportunities to students and alumni every year.
  3. The Recruiter in Residence programme which has been developed to help students gain interview experience and employer feedback on CVs. Ten major Careers Fairs also run each year, providing an opportunity to meet employers face-to-face.
  • Two areas of continued focus are the opportunities for postgraduate students to earn money, and opportunities for work experience placements as a part of study.

Student experience:

  • Pre-arrival visa advice has risen 14% over four years in Barometer satisfaction rankings to 92%, and the International Student Orientation programme satisfaction ratings have risen to 84% in 2014.
  • 93% of students are satisfied with the wide range of organised social activities at the University, while satisfaction has risen to 98% for University clubs and societies. Over 200 societies are available for students to join, including sports societies such as athletics, dance and hockey, and interest groups including musical, political and cultural societies.

Environmental issues:

  • The University’s eco-friendly attitude has risen 7% in satisfaction ratings over four years, reflecting the University’s work to reduce carbon emissions to 33% below 2005/6 levels by 2020-21:
  1. To help to achieve the target, IT Services has developed a system to ensure all PCs are turned off at night and woken up remotely to save energy.
  2. In addition, a new water management strategy aims to cut water consumption by 11% and a waste management strategy will soon be in place to help reduce waste and increase recycling rates.

To find out more about how the University is working to reduce environmental impact and how you can get involved visit the Estates Services website.

National Student Survey

If you are a final year undergraduate you can still make your mark by completing the National Student Survey. Your feedback not only contributes to improvements in the facilities, resources and teaching on offer to current students, but also helps prospective students choose the right institution and course for them.

Destination of leavers

The Destinations of Leavers from Higher Education (DLHE) survey asks what leavers were doing six months after they qualified from their course to provide detailed analysis of career paths.

Other surveys

Departments and faculties carry out surveys on individual courses and use lecture questionnaires to gain feedback on the quality of lectures. The views of students are also represented by undergraduate and postgraduate Joint Consultative Committees (JCC).

Colleges collect feedback from students through tutorial evaluation questionnaires, college questionnaires, students and tutors/college advisers meetings, and annual meetings between students and their senior tutor and/or head of house.