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National Student Survey 2023: Results for Business & Management Studies

17th August 2023

The Chartered ABS presents our report on the results of the 2023 National Student Survey (NSS) for the Business and Management subject area. In total, 172 Higher Education providers participated in the NSS in the Business and Management subject area in 2023, up from 168 the previous year. This year a total of 47,076 responses were received in Business and Management, with a response rate of 70.9%, which is lower than the average response rate across all subjects of 72.6%. The Chartered ABS has compiled a list of participating institutions for Business and Management and their scores for each question into a spreadsheet which can be filtered by mission group or provider region. As with previous editions, our analysis looks at first degree graduates only.  

Alongside this, we have a comparison between the average scores for Business and Management and the average across all subjects for each question, and a breakdown of average scores for each question at the detailed subject level (CAH level 3). In this edition, we have shaded cells in the spreadsheet on provider performance according to their percentage point difference from the benchmark as calculated by the OfS. Benchmark calculations are different for each provider for each question and are calculated based on various characteristics of courses and students at the provider. More information on how OfS calculated the benchmarks can be found here. 

 

View the spreadsheet here

 

Changes to the 2023 NSS

The 2023 edition of the NSS underwent significant changes following a consultation with the Higher Education community. The changes include, among other things, the removal of the question on overall satisfaction for HEIs in England, a new approach to benchmarking calculations, and a rephrasing of the questions in order to facilitate the introduction of a positivity measure to replace the previously-used agreement rate. Details of the consultation and resulting changes can be found here. 

The revised questionnaire comprises 25 questions across 7 themes, with an additional question on the communication of mental wellbeing support service provision at the institution, a question on perceived freedom of expression (England only), and a question on overall satisfaction (Northern Ireland, Scotland, and Wales only). The themes are largely unchanged from previous years, with the only difference being the omission in the new edition of the ‘learning community’ theme.  

Business & Management – key findings

In general, the average positivity measures for Business and Management are higher than the average across all subjects.

At the theme level, Business and Management had higher average positivity measures than the all-subject average for 6 out of 7 of the themes. The theme whereby the positivity measure for Business and Management was lower than that of the average is ‘Teaching on the course’, wherein Business and Management was marginally lower than the sector-wide average by 1.1%. The theme wherein Business and Management has the largest percentage point average in excess of the all-subject average is that of ‘Organisation and management’, at 81.4% to 73.5%, amounting to a percentage point difference of 7.9%.

Business and Management falls slightly short of the sector-wide average for the ‘Teaching on the course’ theme.

The question with the most significant difference in positivity measure between Business and Management and the average is question 3: ‘How often is the course intellectually stimulating?’, where Business and Management has an average positivity measure of 80.3% compared to the all-subject average of 83.3%. This difference of 3 percentage points is the largest negative difference between Business and Management and the average across all subjects of any question in the 2023 NSS.

Business and Management outperforms the average across all subjects for the ‘Learning opportunities’ theme.

The average positivity measure for this theme for Business and Management is 83.0% compared to the average of 80.8% across all subjects, indicating that in general, Business and Management students are more likely to be satisfied with their opportunities to develop their learning compared to the average student. The question with the biggest percentage point difference between Business and Management and the all-subject average is question 8: ‘To what extent does your course have the right balance of directed and independent study?’, for which the positivity measure for Business and Management is 81.3% against the all-subject average of 75.9%. Business and Management has a higher average positivity measure in all but one of the five questions within this theme.

Average positivity measures for Business and Management surpass sector-wide averages by modest amounts for the ‘Assessment and feedback’ and ‘Academic support’ themes.

The positivity measure between Business and Management is 1.9% ahead of the all-subject average for both of these themes. Business and Management has higher positivity measures than the sector-wide average for 6 of the 7 questions which comprise the two themes. The question with the biggest difference in positivity measure between Business and Management (79.5%) and the sector-wide average (75.3%) between these two themes is question 10: ‘How clear were the marking criteria used to assess your work?’, indicating that Business and Management students are more likely to agree that the criteria by which they are marked is sufficiently transparent.

Business and Management students were significantly more likely than the average student to agree that their courses were well organised.

Business and Management has positivity measures of 81.8% and 81.0% for questions 17 (‘How well organised is your course?’) and 18 (‘How well were any changes to teaching on your course communicated?’) respectively, compared to the sector-wide scores of 72.5% and 74.6%. The fact that Business and Management is significantly ahead of the average indicates that Business and Management students are more likely to feel that their courses are well-organised.

Business and Management students were more likely to feel their opinions were valued by staff

The Business and Management subject received a positivity measure of 75.7% compared to the all-subject average of 72.1% for the ‘Student voice’ theme, and scored higher than the average for each of the four questions underpinning this theme. The biggest gap between the positivity measures for Business and Management and the average was for question 24: ‘How clear is it that students' feedback on the course is acted on?’, at 68.2% against 61.1% (difference of 7.1 percentage points), respectively.

NSS 2023: Performance by constituent subjects within Business & Management

The NSS results are available for the constituent subjects within Business & Management based on the Common Aggregation Hierarchy 3 (CAH3) subject-level. This enables a more detailed assessment of students’ satisfaction with specific Business & Management subjects.  

Based on the average scores across the seven different themes, the constituent subjects within Business & Management with the highest satisfaction levels are ‘Tourism, Transport and travel’ (84%), ‘Finance’ (84%), ‘HRM’ (83%), and ‘Accounting’ (83%), but all the subjects recorded a positivity score of at least 80%, with the exception of the ‘Others in Business & Management’ subject which has a much lower score and is probably due to its small sample size. 

The positivity scores for the subjects within Business & Management are consistently high across most of the themes, but there is some variation. For the ‘Assessment and Feedback’ theme there is a very high average positivity score for ‘Tourism, Transport and travel’ (84%), whereas Management Studies received the lowest score in the field of 75%. For ‘Organisation and Management’, ‘Finance’ and ‘Accounting’ recorded the highest average positivity scores, at 85% and 84%, respectively, whereas ‘Marketing’ (78%), ‘Business & Management (non-specific) (80%)’, ‘Management Studies’ (81%) and HRM (81%) recorded much lower average scores. 

Another theme exhibiting significant variation in average positivity scores amongst the fields of Business & Management is ‘Student Voice’. The subjects with the highest average scores are ‘Finance’, Tourism, Transport and travel’, and HRM, all with 78%, and the lowest were ‘Management Studies’ (74%) and ‘Marketing’ (73%). The ‘Student Voice’ is the only theme in which none of the constituent subjects recorded an average positivity score of 80% or greater.