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Student surveys

The University runs a number of surveys throughout the academic year.

These include university-wide surveys, surveys within your college, your department or about your course or a specific service provided to you. We work closely with Oxford SU to design and run these and analyse the results. Your feedback is always important to help evaluate and improve the student experience for current and future students. You can find out about other ways to engage with students on the Student Engagement page. 

The following surveys are due in Michaelmas term 2021:

  • Student Barometer survey. Late November 2021

University-wide surveys

Student Barometer 

The Student Barometer surveys all full-time and part-time undergraduate, postgraduate taught and postgraduate research students in 2021/22 academic year and will survey undergraduates only in 2022/23 academic year.

The survey enables the University to benchmark your feedback on the student experience from application to graduation, against those of 120 other universities.

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:

Student Barometer results - 2010-2020

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.

National Student Survey

The National Student Survey is a national survey of all students at UK universities, run by the Office for Students. It is aimed mainly at final-year undergraduates, and 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. It usually takes place between January and April each year.

PTES and PRES surveys

The Postgraduate Taught/Research Experience Survey (PTES and PRES) is the only national survey aimed exclusively at postgraduate students.

The University has opted to make this our primary method of obtaining feedback from postgraduate students. Postgraduate taught students are surveyed with PTES every year while postgraduate research students are surveyed with PRES every other year (next administration will take place in 2022/23 academic year) In 2020/21 academic year both surveys included questions relating to the pandemic, including initiatives introduced by the University such as the COVID Assistance Fund. 

It allows us to compare how we are doing with other institutions and to make changes that will improve the postgraduate experience in the future.

In 2020, there was largely a high level of satisfaction that was indicated with postgraduate study at Oxford: 79% of research and 76% of taught postgraduates expressed satisfaction with overall experience, with an average score of 4.03 for research students and 3.95 for taught students. It was found that both research and taught postgraduates agreed their programmes were stimulating with enthusiastic and knowledgeable staff, that skills had increased over the programme duration and supervision and teaching was good. Scores were lower with regard to assessment, sufficient feedback, marking and wider opportunities. In general there was a substantial number who would have liked more involvement in the running of courses and the opportunity to provide feedback.

All of this provided useful information for us to understand postgraduate experiences for us to feed into our research, teaching and quality panels and enable the University to consider how we can look to improve programmes and the support received whilst studying at Oxford.

Other regular 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.

Additional surveys: COVID-19

A series of additional surveys have taken place during the pandemic, aimed at helping the University gain more insights into the impact of COVID-19 on students.

Teaching and Assessment survey, Trinity term 2020

All taught students were asked to complete a survey in Trinity term 2020 to get their feedback about online teaching and assessment. A total of 3,188 students took part. Points of interest included:

  • 64% of respondents were satisfied with their experience of the emergency teaching model put in place
  • 28% felt affected by their proximity to the university, with those who were domiciled outside the UK most likely to be affected. Around 20% of those affected were dissatisfied with the university response
  • 90% participated in live streamed sessions, with 75% satisfied with the experience 
  • 87% had a very strong preference for the face-to-face classes and tutorials
  • Almost 65% of students said they watched a lecture video and 75% were satisfied with the videos
  • 75% quoted a lack of motivation to study as the biggest problem encountered during their studies, mainly because of uncertainty of the whole pandemic situation. Many also found the home environment under lockdown to be far from ideal to study
  • A third of respondents sat examinations and 60% were satisfied with the emergency exam and assessment model
  • 65% used the open-book exam practice site before sitting their exam and 79% found it helpful. 69% found navigating around the open-book exam WebLearn site easy, the same as submitting their exam responses (75%).

The results have been used to inform the development of teaching and assessment for Michaelmas term 2020 and beyond.

 Teaching and learning survey, Michaelmas term 2020

An additional survey took place in Michaelmas term 2020, designed to help the University understand which parts of remote and in-person teaching students felt had been working well during Michaelmas term, and should be continued with, while exploring aspects that needed addressing for Hilary term. All undergraduate and postgraduate taught students were invited to take part in Michaelmas term. Results will follow on this page as soon as possible.

Student feedback channel

In addition to formal surveys, the University and Oxford SU have been working together to get a better understanding of students’ studying and other experiences. An open feedback channel was launched in Trinity term 2020, enabling students to share their feedback about how learning and wider Oxford experiences had been via a short Oxford SU online form.

It offered students a chance to give examples of where things are going well, and make suggestions for improvements. The channel was launched again at the beginning of each term in 2020/21, and students could fill it in more than once, and at any time. Students’ ideas and feedback were anonymised and communicated back to staff, supervisors and tutors across the University. You can view the summaries of student feedback from each term on the project reports page of the Centre for Teaching and Learning website.

Survey for leavers

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.

Destination of leavers results

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