The Open University (OU) has been ranked no.1 university for Overall Student Satisfaction in Northern Ireland for the seventeenth year in a row in the National Student Survey (NSS) results published yesterday.
The NSS is an annual survey of nearly half a million final year students across the UK. It is their opportunity to give honest feedback about what it has been like to study on their course at their university or college.
The results, published on Thursday 15 July 2021, show that the OU achieved an overall satisfaction rating of 91%in Northern Ireland.
Despite the difficulties that higher education institutions have faced over the last year due to the pandemic, The Open University has remained more determined than ever to remain true to its mission, to be open to people, places, methods and ideas and to support its student as much as they can despite being an online distance learning institution.
Throughout the pandemic, the OU’s local Student Support Team in Belfast has remained dedicated to ensuring they provide a supportive community and learning environment for all Open University students through support over the phone, webchat or through email.
These results are also reflective of the skills intervention work the OU has undertaken, providing fully funded courses by the Department for the Economy to those whose employment has been impacted by COVID-19. Nearly 1,000 course places were offered, and extra support given to ensure those people were guided and supported with their careers during what has been an extremely difficult year.
Speaking of the achievement, Michael Bower, Assistant Director for Student Success in the OU in Ireland said:
“We’re pleased to see such a strong endorsement of our university from the people who matter the most – our students. It’s been a difficult year for everyone, and student support has been more important than ever. Our staff provide first-class support and teaching to our students throughout their studies, and we’re really looking forward to working with even more students across Northern Ireland in the future.”
This year has also seen a particular emphasis on support for our nursing students working on the front line throughout the health trusts across Northern Ireland during the pandemic. Over 570 students study nursing with the OU whilst holding down jobs within the health trusts and the OU ensures these students gain support from the university but also their employers as well.
The OU’s dedicated, expert tutors also have, and continue, to support students and help them progress through their studies. Alongside these tutors, the local Student Support teams, and Employability Consultants, the OU will endeavour to support students on every step of their learning journey in the year ahead.