National Student Survey 2021: Results for Law
We are pleased to publish our analysis of the 2021 National Student Survey (NSS) results for the subject of Law. This year’s results were published on 15 July 2021. The NSS is completed by first degree students in their final year of study and contains 27 questions in which students are asked to rate their institution on several themes including teaching, learning opportunities, assessment and feedback, academic support and learning resources. This year’s NSS included an additional six questions asking students about the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on their experiences, including the special arrangements universities and colleges have put in place for learning, teaching and well-being support.
Recognising that several Chartered ABS member schools teach Law, the Chartered ABS has again created a spreadsheet analysing the NSS results for the field of Law. The spreadsheet can be filtered by institution and question, and features drop-down menus for each question enabling users to easily view the average scores by provider mission group and region. There is also a table which compares the results for Law with the average score across all subject areas.
If you have any feedback on this analysis or would be interested in further analysis on the subject of Law please email Ramin Bokaian, Research Manager at the Chartered ABS (firstname.lastname@example.org).
The 2021 NSS results for Law can be viewed here.
A total of 112 institutions provided NSS returns for the subject of Law in 2021 and below is a summary of the findings for full-time first degree leavers.
Law students’ satisfaction levels declined for all NSS themes following the disruption to learning experiences during the pandemic
- The impact of the Covid-19 pandemic had a significant impact on students’ learning experiences in 2020/21 and this would appear to have led to significant falls in satisfaction levels across all subjects, including Law.
- The percentage of Law students stating that they were satisfied with their course fell by 11% from 84% in 2020 to 73% in 2021. For all subjects overall the average proportion of students reporting that they were satisfied with their course was down by 7% from 82% in 2020 to 75% in 2021, as such satisfaction levels for Law students have declined from being above the average for all students to below average.
Satisfaction levels for the learning resources theme have declined most significantly since 2019/20
- For the three questions on learning resources, the average proportion of Law students expressing agreement with the statements fell by 15% over the last year to 70% in 2021. A similar decline is observed in the responses to these questions for students across all subjects, with the proportion expressing agreement falling from 84% in 2020 to 72% in 2021.
- For Law students the statement ‘the library resources have supported my learning well’ saw the largest fall in satisfaction levels of any question, with the proportion of students stating agreement declining from 87% last year to 71% in 2021. The 16% decline in Law students’ satisfaction levels for this question is larger than the 12% decline recorded for all students overall.
Students’ sense of belonging to a learning community has significantly weakened during the pandemic
- The theme related to learning community saw the second largest fall in satisfaction levels amongst Law students. In 2021 around half of Law students reported feeling part of a community of staff and students which is a fall of 13% compared to last year. The same is observed for the statement related to having opportunities to work with other students, with the proportion of students expressing agreement declining from 75% to 62%.
- For both questions the fall in the percentage of Law students expressing agreement was larger than the average for students across all subjects. For the question on feeling part of a community a 9% decline was recorded for all students and an 8% decline for the question on opportunities for collaboration.
Law students are significantly less satisfied with the academic support provided
- The average proportion of Law students agreeing with the three statements in the academic support theme fell from 76% in 2020 to 68% in 2021, which is larger than the 6% decline seen for students across all subjects. In 2020 84% of Law students agreed that ‘I have been able to contact staff when I needed to’ but this fell to 77% in 2021.
- On a similar note, the percentage of Law students agreeing that they had ‘received sufficient advice and guidance in relation to my course’ declined from 75% to 66%, and the proportion agreeing that ‘good advice was available when I needed to make study choices’ fell from 70% to 62%.
Results for questions on the impact of Covid-19
- In relation to the six additional questions on the impact of the pandemic on students’ experiences during the 2020/21 academic year, the percentage of Law students expressing agreement with the various statements is lower for both UK and non-UK students compared to the average for students across all subjects.
- For UK students on Law courses 43% agreed that they were ‘content with the delivery of learning and teaching’ during the pandemic compared with an average of 49% for UK students across all subjects. A similar result is seen for the statement on wellbeing, where 37% of UK Law students agreed that their ‘university or college has taken sufficient steps to support my mental wellbeing during the Covid-19 pandemic’, which is lower than the average of 41% of UK students across all subjects who expressed agreement.
- For non-UK Law students the statement on mental wellbeing also recorded the lowest levels of agreement of all the six questions related to Covid-19, with 43% of non-UK Law students expressing agreement, which is lower than the all-subject average of 49%. Half of non-UK Law students agreed that they were ‘content with the delivery of learning and teaching’ during the pandemic, which is 4% lower than the average proportion of non-UK students across all subjects expressing agreement.