Student engagement | University of Oxford
Degree Day, Oxford
Degree Day 2009, Oxford, UK
Copyright © Rob Judges Photography. This image comes from

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, holds a series of afternoon teas to enable her to meet with a range of student members from the colleges. The teas take place throughout the academic year. They are organised by undergraduate, graduate taught and graduate research groupings, with colleges nominating students to attend.  

Vice-Chancellor's open office hours 

The Vice-Chancellor is holding open office hours four 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. 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.

The 2018 Student Barometer survey closed on 31 December 2018. The results of the survey will be shared on this page soon. 

Results from previous years can be seen below on the Tableau data visualisation tool, which also allows you to compare results between colleges and departments over the years:

7,730 students responded to the survey in 2017 which represents a 39% response rate and we are very grateful for all your responses.

The results and the comments you submitted are being analysed on a confidential and anonymous basis by a wide range of departments/faculties, colleges and central services across the collegiate University as we consider both the quantitative and qualitative feedback you provided. Your comments are very insightful and provide us an evaluation of your student experience so far and an impetus for change and improvements.

Below is an extract of some student feedback from the Student Barometer 2017 results. 


  •  97% of students were satisfied with the subject expertise of staff.
  • Satisfaction with online library was at 94% but satisfaction with weblearn/moodle was at 83% and we hope the new Canvas project will improve this in the future.
  • Wifi and internet access seems to remain an issue at 79% (for arrival) and 80% (for on-course) and we will continue to focus attention on this. For the last few years, IT Services have run a special help-desk set-up stall at orientation events for 3 days to help with getting online as soon as students arrive.
  • 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:

  • Satisfaction with the Student Information service at the Exam Schools reached its highest level ever at 97%.
  • Satisfaction with the College Hall has seen a steady rise over recent years now at 91%
  • For the accommodation questions, the satisfaction with accommodation quality was at 86% and the cost of accommodation was at 62%. The results from this year and previous years are also being considered by Estates Services in relation to a recent survey for graduate students that is looking in depth at future housing needs.
  • Sports facilities satisfaction is at 79% and the data from the barometer survey is being used by the Sports department as part of plans for a new participation campaign to encourage academics and students to see the benefit of engaging in sporting activity. 


  • Satisfaction levels with the Careers Service remains high at 89 % following some new initiatives and expanded provision over the last few years:
  1.  The Oxford University Internship Office offers over 1,000 financially supported opportunities each year, from one week structured micro-internships through to 2-12 week summer placements all around the world.
  2. The Student Consultancy which assists over 150 students (undergraduate, postgraduate and DPhil) every term working on projects in small teams on local organisations’ really business problems.
  3. Several ‘Insight into…’ programmes giving students the chance to learn and experience more about specific industries. To date, these programmes run for Teaching, Medicine, Academia, Business, and Pharmaceuticals - with more planned each year.

Environmental issues:

The eco-friendly attitude scored 79% in the survey so there is still work to be done and we are conscious that some other universities perform better in the survey than Oxford; although the age and protected status of many Oxford buildings is a factor.

The University continues to improve its environmental sustainability through:

  • Installing over 2,000 solar panels, introducing an energy tariff under which all grid electricity comes from wind power, and making new buildings as efficient as possible – one recent construction meets the stringent Passivhaus standards.
  • Being a key partner in biodiversity work including the Oxford City Swift project, Oxford Plan Bee and pilots including UniCycle scheme and Fairtrade universities.
  • Working with staff and students on Green Impact and Student Switch Off, to raise awareness and support colleges. There is much the University can still achieve and all students and staff can make a significant contribution. 

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 will be able to make your mark by completing the National Student Survey from Thursday 17 January  to Tuesday 30 April 2019. 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. Further details about completing the survey will be sent to you by email.

The Graduate Outcomes Survey

Graduate Outcomes is a national survey of graduates 15 months after they leave university; the survey asks all leavers about their employment, further study, or other activities. The information you provide helps to inform prospective students’ choices, develop higher education policy, and enables universities to make improvements for their students. Find out more on the Graduate Outcomes website

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.

Was this page useful?*