University student satisfaction in Scotland higher than in England and Wales according to 2012 National Student Survey

Universities Scotland welcomed the results from the 2012 National Student Survey published today (Thursday) which showed that universities in Scotland had a higher rate of student satisfaction than universities in England and Wales. Students at Scotland’s universities rated their overall satisfaction at 86 per cent. This compared to an 84 per cent satisfaction rating for English universities and 84 per cent in Wales.

The survey which asked students to respond to 30 questions across six main categories including ‘academic support’ and ‘personal development’ also showed Scottish universities had either maintained or improved their performance in almost every single category compared to last year. Scotland’s universities also scored more highly than universities in England on the question: ‘the course is intellectually stimulating’. 86 per cent of full time students in Scotland agreed compared to 84 per cent in England, 83 per cent in Wales and 86 per cent in Northern Ireland. This year, sixteen of the nineteen Scottish Higher Education institutions took part in the survey (compared to fourteen in the previous year).

Responding to the results Alastair Sim, Director of Universities Scotland, said:


“I am delighted to see that university student satisfaction remains so high and that Scotland’s universities shine amongst their UK counterparts. This serves to show the quality of teaching, the learning resources and experience provided by Scotland’s universities. The results are testament to the commitment of all the staff in their support of the students, not only academically but also in their personal development.

“Scotland’s higher education institutions work hard to continually improve the overall university experience for its students. Student expectations are high, particularly in Scotland, where a focus on enhancement and close student engagement in the delivery of quality serves to continually raise the bar.

“The results of this year’s survey are extremely encouraging, not only for the students at university already but also for prospective students making their choices at the moment. However, we would encourage students not to rely solely on the National Student Survey in making choices on where to apply to university. University open days are one of the best ways to meet staff and get a real feel for the universities students might be considering.”



  • Summary data from the survey and results from the survey question on overall satisfaction are available at:
  • These figures relate to satisfaction ratings of full-time undergraduate students.
  • HEFCE does not publish league tables. The data are available sorted alphabetically by institution.
  • The fifteen Scottish universities taking part in the 2012 National Student Survey were:
    1. University of Aberdeen; 2. University of Abertay, Dundee; 3. University of Edinburgh; 4. University of Dundee; 5. Edinburgh Napier University; 6. Glasgow School of Art; 7. Queen Margaret University; 8. Glasgow Caledonian University; 9. University of Glasgow; 10. Robert Gordon University; 11. University of Strathclyde; 12. Heriot-Watt University; 13. University of St Andrews; 14. University of Stirling; 15. University of the West of Scotland; 16 Open University in Scotland