Student surveys | University of Oxford
Girl looking up to one side, contemplating. Photo by <span>Photo by The Creative Exchange on Unsplash
Girl looking up to one side, contemplating. Photo by Photo by The Creative Exchange on Unsplash

Student surveys

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

Student Engagement

The Vice-Chancellor holds a series of afternoon teas and offers open office hours four times a term to discuss various topics. You can find out more on the Student Engagement page. 

Student Barometer - opens 23 November 2020 to 31 January 2021 

The Student Barometer surveys all full-time and part-time undergraduate, postgraduate taught and postgraduate research students. 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 - 2010-2019

6,543 students responded to the survey in 2019 which represents a 29% 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.

National Student Survey 

Your feedback in the National Student Survey 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. 

Trinity term teaching and assessment survey 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.

PTES and PRES surveys

The Postgraduate Taught/Research Experience Survey (PTES and PRES) is the only national survey aimed exclusively at postgraduate students. 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. The University piloted the surveys this year, with a view that they will become our primary method of gaining feedback from postgraduate students. The full PTES and PRES Survey privacy statement is available to read. Both surveys involved rating a series of questions covering a range of experiences from 5 to 1 depending on how strongly you agreed or disagreed with the statement covering subjects such as supervision, assessment and support resources.

Largely a high level of satisfaction 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 agree their programmes are stimulating with enthusiastic and knowledgeable staff, that skills have increased over the programme duration and supervision and teaching is good. Scores were lower with regard to assessment, sufficient feedback, marking and wider opportunities. In general there is a substantial number who would like more involvement in the running of courses and the opportunity to provide feedback.

All of this provides useful information for us to understand postgraduate experiences for 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. As part of the survey, we pledged to donate to a charity of the student's choice on the Oxford SU's supported charities list for every completed submission. We are pleased to confirm we have donated £1000 across the four charities as follows:

Oxfordshire Mind £568.58

Meningitis Now £150.14

Beat Eating Disorders £150.11

Keen Oxford £131.17

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

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.

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