National Student Survey 2022: Results for Law

 

The Chartered ABS is pleased to present our analysis of the 2022 National Student Survey (NSS) results for Law. This year’s results were published by the Office for Students (OfS) on 6 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% - down slightly from the 71% recorded in 2021. Questions relating to the COVID-19 pandemic, which were 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. It is noteworthy, however, that the phrasing of questions might change significantly next year following a recent consultation on possible changes by the OfS.

Recognising that several Chartered ABS member schools teach Law, we have again created a spreadsheet analysing the NSS results for the field of Law. As always, 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. The second page contains a table which compares the results for Law with the average score across all subject areas.

Read and download our analysis of the results in full

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 (ramin.bokaian@charteredabs.org).

A total of 113 institutions provided NSS returns for the subject of Law in 2022. Below is a summary of the findings.

Many aspects of the student experience for Law have rebounded after the fall during the Covid-19 pandemic

  • In 2021, when the effect of the Covid-19 pandemic on student experience was at its strongest, NSS scores for the field of Law decreased more significantly than the average across all subjects.
  • This year, the average scores for many of the NSS questions appear to have bounced back to a greater degree amongst Law students than for the average amongst all subjects, such that the differences between the scores for Law and the average amongst all subjects can now be said to be at pre-pandemic levels, with Law now trailing behind the average across all subjects in the same questions and by similar margins as in the 2019/20 survey. As was also the case pre-pandemic, satisfaction rates with regards to the themes of Organisation and Management (71%) and Learning Resources (81%) are each one percentage point ahead of the all-subject average. For the themes of Teaching on the Course (81%) and the question on overall quality (77%) this year, satisfaction rates in Law are exactly on par with the average across all subjects, having been slightly higher than the average in 2020 but falling more significantly than average in 2021.

Satisfaction levels for the theme of Learning Resources have improved most significantly.

  • The average satisfaction score for the three questions comprising the Learning Resources theme have increased to 81% from 70% last year. This improvement is greater than that seen across all subject areas, the average of which stands at 80% for the theme of Learning Resources, up from 72% last year.
  • This theme saw the most dramatic decrease in satisfaction levels last year, likely due to the impact of Covid-19. Though there has been a strong recovery in satisfaction levels this year, they have not quite recovered to the pre-pandemic levels seen in 2019/20 when the average satisfaction levels in the theme of Learning resources stood at 85% for Law and 84% across all subjects.

Compared to other subjects, Law students do not report a strong sense of Learning Community

  • The theme of Learning Community saw the second largest decline in the 2021 survey. There has been significant improvement this year, from 57% to 62% overall, and though the gap has narrowed between the average satisfaction rates for Law and all subjects, Law continues to attain noticeably lower satisfaction rates on this theme compared to the average across all subjects (70%).
  • Learning Community was an area of lower performance for Law prior to the pandemic, with the figures for 2019/20 showing that the average satisfaction rates for Learning Community were seven percentage points lower than the all-subject average.

Overall, the average satisfaction rates for Law have seen promising improvements

  • The average satisfaction rates for every theme improved at a greater degree for Law than for the average across all subjects.
  • For the final question regarding overall quality of the course, the percentage of positive responses rose from 73% to 77%, on par with the all-subject average when last year it had been two percentage points lower.

Discussion

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