Student Satisfaction Survey 2006-07
The University's annual Student Satisfaction Survey (SSS)
takes place at the end of the spring term. Students are asked to rate
their satisfaction with various aspects of their experience of
studying at the University. This page gives details of the
questionnaires and presents the results of the SSS for taught course
students. It also includes some information on the National Student
Survey (NSS) results now available on the
Unistats website. The
results of the SSS for postgraduate research students will be
published in autumn 2007.
There are three questionnaires for the SSS:
The SSS questionnaire for undergraduate students
contains the same 21 questions as the NSS questionnaire, arranged into
six groups, as well as a question on overall satisfaction. The
questionnaire also contains a number of questions that are specific to
Essex, including an additional group of questions on degree content.
From 2006-07 the SSS and NSS also contained a section on non-academic
aspects of the student experience. The questionnaire for taught course
postgraduate students is the same as the undergraduate questionnaire,
with only minor alterations to wording based on context. The research
student questionnaire covers the quality of research supervision and
training and the research environment provided by departments and
centres. It also includes a section specifically for Graduate Teaching
Assistants and Demonstrators.
Students are invited to respond to a series of
statements using a five-point scale:
1. Definitely disagree
2. Mostly disagree
3. Neither agree nor disagree
4. Mostly agree
5. Definitely agree
There is also an option for students to respond ‘Not
applicable’ to indicate that the statement is not applicable to them.
In addition, all students have the opportunity to
comment on particularly positive or negative aspects of their
experience by adding free text comments at the end of the survey
[top of page]
In 2006/07, the overall response rates for the
questionnaires were as follows:
Undergraduate students (SSS only) - 38%
National Student Survey - 62%
Postgraduate taught students - 44%
Postgraduate Research Students - 42%
A more detailed breakdown of response rates by
department is available with the results.
The results published here show both the scale score
(combined proportion who agree) and the point score (the average score
on the 1-5 scale). The NSS data published on the Unistats website show
the scale scores; the proportion of students who mostly agreed or
definitely agreed with each statement. The point score includes
information about how satisfied students were (or weren’t), not just
whether they were satisfied or not. The following reports are or will
be available (see below for notes on interpretation of reports):
More detailed analysis of the NSS data will be
circulated to those involved in the quality assurance process but the
terms of the survey prohibit us from publishing this data.
Commentary on results of SSS 2007 for taught course students
[top of page]
Notes on Interpretation of Reports
Results are shown for each department and centre with
more than ten responding students.
Results based on small numbers of responses may be
less accurate. Where there are fewer than 23 responding students or
low response rates, care
should be taken in interpreting data and combined results for 2006 and
2007 should be considered.
See additional notes with each set of results.
General information about the survey is also available
[top of page]