National Student Survey 2022: Results for Business & Management Studies
The Chartered ABS is pleased to present our analysis of the 2022 National Student Survey (NSS) results for Business & Management Studies.
This year’s results were published by the Office for Students (OfS) on 06 July, 2022. The respondents to the NSS are final-year students on their first degree. It contains 27 questions in which students are asked to evaluate their institution on the themes of teaching, learning opportunities, assessment and feedback, academic support, organisation and management, learning resources, learning community, and student voice. This year’s NSS was completed by more than 324,000 full-time first degree graduates with a response rate of 69% - a slight decrease from the 71% recorded in 2021. Questions relating to the COVID-19 pandemic, included in last year’s version of the survey, were not repeated in this year’s survey; other than this change, this year’s questions remained the same.
A total of 168 institutions submitted an NSS return for Business & Management, five more than in 2021. The response rate for Business & Management students increased marginally to 67% from 66% in 2021, but remains just below the average response rate across all subjects of 69%. The Chartered ABS has consolidated the NSS results for Business & Management into a spreadsheet which can be filtered by institution and question, and which contains drop-down filters for each question enabling users to easily view the average scores by provider affiliation and region.
Additionally, the spreadsheet contains a comparison of the results for Business & Management with the averages across all subject areas, alongside last year’s equivalent comparison for reference, and a breakdown of the average scores for each question at the level of the constituent subjects within the field of Business & Management (e.g. Accounting, Finance, Marketing, etc).
Business and Management has recorded a better post-COVID recovery in student satisfaction compared with other subjects.
One particularly interesting revelation in this year’s NSS results will have been the extent to which figures might have recovered from the significant declines recorded in last year’s results due to the impacts on students of the COVID-19 pandemic. However, improvements on last year’s results on average across all subjects were marginal in many cases; scores either stayed the same or decreased for 12 out of 27 questions, and for 8 out of 27 questions only increased by one percentage point, meaning that only seven questions saw improvements of two percentage points or more. The theme with the greatest improvement year-on-year was that of Learning Resources, which increased by an average of eight percentage points.
Results for Business and Management departments are markedly more positive on average. Business and Management results improved on last year’s scores for all but two questions, with only one question (question 16 on timetabling) achieving a lower score than last year. In general, Business and Management has bounced back more strongly than the average amongst all subjects, and in many cases now outperforms the average of all subjects, with the exception of questions within the theme “Teaching on the course.”
Business and management catches up slightly with the all-subject average for teaching-related satisfaction.
On the theme “Teaching on the course”, comprising of questions 1 to 4, the field of Business and Management continues to lag behind the average of all subjects but shows signs of improvement; while the average of all subjects this year is nearly identical to last year’s scores, Business and Management has improved by one percentage point on average, driven largely by a three percentage point increase for question two: “Staff have made the subject interesting.”
In most themes, Business and Management reports higher levels of satisfaction than the average across all subjects.
Regarding the themes “Learning opportunities”, “Assessment and feedback”, and “Academic support”, comprising of questions 5 to 14, the field of Business and Management last year trailed behind the average across all subjects (though only by a fraction of a percentage point for “Academic Support”) but has now surpassed it in each of these areas.
The field of Business and Management has extended its lead over the average across all subjects within the theme of “Organisation and management” (questions 15 to 17), where it is now four percentage points higher than the average across all subjects and is five percentage points higher than the average for the question “The course is well organised and is running smoothly”.
81% of Business and Management students are satisfied with their access to learning resources.
The theme of “Learning resources”, comprising question 18 to 20, has seen a significant increase in student satisfaction from the previous year, possibly because use of technological resources has been refined over the past year and students have begun to regain physical access to resources such as the library and other facilities. However, although the theme average score has shot back up by seven percentage points for the field of Business and Management and eight percentage points for all subjects, both have yet to regain their pre-pandemic score of 84%.
Business schools have rebuilt learning communities more effectively than the average for all subjects.
Feelings of community are returning, in business schools quicker than elsewhere. The theme of “Learning community”, comprising questions 21 and 22, has seen an average increase of three percentage points in business schools and two percentage points across all subjects year-on-year, for scores of 73% and 70% respectively. While the increase is promising, the levels remain notably lower than their pre-pandemic level of 77%.
Business and Management students feel particularly heard and valued amongst all students, receiving the highest score on the question about acting on student feedback.
The field of Business and Management is now above the all-subject average in the theme of “Student Voice”, having had an identical score last year. The average for Business and Management increased by two percentage points across the theme while the average across all subjects fell by one percentage point. Business and Management students effectively reported that they feel particularly heard and valued; returning an above-average score for question 24, “Staff value students' views and opinions about the course”, and the highest scores amongst all subjects for questions 25 (“It is clear how students' feedback on the course has been acted on”) and 26 (“The students' union (association or guild) effectively represents students' academic interests”). The strong results for questions 24 and 25 together suggest that staff in the Business and Management education community are particularly effective at acting upon feedback from students, resulting both in better course delivery and signalling to students that they are valued.
Overall satisfaction with quality shows promising improvement from last year’s score.
Finally, overall satisfaction with the quality of the course (question 27) has improved since last year, with 78% of Business and Management students agreeing that they are satisfied compared to last year’s score of 75%, though it is still short of the pre-pandemic score of 81% in 2020. However, the field of Business and Management reported greater improvement in satisfaction with course quality than the average of all subjects, given that the relevant scores between Business & Management and the all-subject average were even on this question last year. If this continues, we can expect that student satisfaction within the field of Business and Management will be restored to and exceed pre-pandemic levels sooner than average.
Performance by constituent subjects within Business & Management
The NSS results are also published at the level of Common Aggregation Hierarchy 3 which provides a more detailed breakdown of results by constituent subjects and allows for a more nuanced look at the performance of specific departments within Business and Management faculties.
Generally, there is not a great deal of variation within Business and Management’s constituent subjects. Setting aside “Others in Business and Management” due to its small sample size, students in Accounting and Tourism, Transport and Travel reported the (joint) highest satisfaction rates for the themes of “Student Voice” and “Academic Support” at 69% and 77% respectively. Human Resource Management students reported highest levels of satisfaction in the themes of “Teaching on the course” and “Learning opportunities”, at 81% and 83% respectively, and Finance students report the highest levels of satisfaction in the theme of “Organisation and management” at 77%. Levels of student satisfaction were consistently high within the theme of “Learning resources”, in which all subjects reported scores at or above 80%.
To view the full spreadsheet, please click here.