Student Services News

News from the Student Services Centre (Carrington Building)

It’s here… NSS 2013

NSS Speak Up banner14 January sees the launch of the National Student Survey (NSS) 2013 at The University of Reading. It will give you a  chance to have your say about what you liked and didn’t like about your time at the University of Reading, as well as things that you felt could have been improved.

Click here to take the survey.

'Take five minutes' graphic18-20 March – Come to the NSS Marquee…

Come to the marquee outside the Carrington Building between 10:00-15:00 to have your say about your time at the University of Reading. We have PCs where you can complete the NSS and there will be goodies available to those who complete the survey.

What is the NSS?

The NSS is an annual survey of final year undergraduates in England, Northern Ireland, Wales and some institutions in Scotland. It is a nationally recognised survey which gives students a way of providing honest feedback on their satisfaction with their course.

Why should I take part?

  • The NSS provides you with the opportunity to provide honest feedback on your learning experience
  • Your feedback will be used to improve the learning experience at the University of Reading
  • The results are taken very seriously and inform the quality assurance system with regards to teaching quality
  • Results are used by prospective students to make decisions on what and where to study

What happens with the results?

The NSS results are made publicly available to help prospective students make informed decisions of where and what to study. Institutions and students’ unions also use the data to identify areas of strengths and weaknesses to help bring about change and make improvements for future generations of students

How do I complete it?

During week one eligible students will be sent an invitation email to complete the survey by Ipsos MORI. Later, non-respondents may be contacted by post or ultimately by telephone. You can now complete the NSS online or via your smartphone at www.thestudentsurvey.com. You may opt out of the survey at any point during the fieldwork.

Don’t delay, have your say!

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2 Comments

  1. Chang Joe Sun

    The average accommodation charges 2013-2014 is obviously expensive for students. Also there are so many en-suite rooms which are highly expensive comparing to non-washbasin and washbasin rooms which are cheaper. Besides that for catered student, in 2011-2012, student’s discount was 40%, 2012-2013 has drop to 20% (this have lead to some students do not have enough money for the whole week), further in 2013-2014 is going to drop to only 10%! Moreover in 2011-2012, catering students can use their card anywhere in the campus but this doesn’t apply in 2012-2014.This is so unfair!
    I agree that the nutrition for catering is good. However, the food is not cheap in general for the student and it is not high quality food. In short, majority of my friends thinks that it is not worth the money. We have already pay a lot for our tuition fees, why does the university keep on cutting down our benefits? We are only students, we do not have income and some of us have to do part-time jobs to cover the expenses of the University.
    The University should bare in mind that university is not a profit organisation or a business. University is the leader to bring up the new generation (students), making profit out students is immoral and should not be the aim of the university.
    I believe the University of Reading have their explanation for making every decisions. I just would like to share mine and some of my friends opinions. Thank you for your time.

    • Hi Joe, thank you for taking the time to post a comment here.

      You raise some interesting points about the costs of living and studying in the UK. As well as covering the costs of delivering your course the Tuition Fees cover a range of other services and facilities, including Study Advice, the Library, Student Wellbeing, and the Careers, Placement and Experience Centre. These additional services are subsequently free of charge at the point of delivery – you don’t have to pay for counselling sessions or careers advice or to get study advice. Over the course of the last academic year we have undertaken several initiatives in order to improve the services and facilities offered to students, these include:

      An additional £680,000 going to the Library in order to enhance resources
      Upgrades to the Wi-fi network
      -The expansion of our ‘Extra Study Spaces’ programme, to provide additional study spaces during the Autumn Term as well as in the Summer Term

      The Tuition Fees do not cover a range of optional extras on campus – halls, food and the sports facilities being chief amongst these. That being said, we endeavour to offer these additional services at competitive rates.

      With regards the apparently limited choice of accommodation options we are in a transition period whilst the new Bridges Hall is under construction. The new Bridges development will open in September 2014 and will add a new category of “affordable” rooms with shared bathrooms into the mix as well as more townhouse rooms. You can click here to find out more about the Bridges Hall redevelopment.

      Regarding the comments on catering – In 2011-12 the fully catered meal package cost £52.92 per week and wherever a fully catered student saw a blue triangle symbol on a menu they were entitled to a 40% discount, this was available at all Catering Services outlets. As a result of this offer Catering Services had to be heavily subsidised by the University. This is obviously not sustainable as the University does not have funding to provide a catering service, all of the activity undertaken by Catering Services has to be financially sustainable to provide a long term service to the University community, therefore action had to be taken to reduce the financial deficit.

      For 2012-13 the catering package costs £55.58 and wherever the fully catered student sees a blue triangle symbol they are entitled to receive a 20% discount. This price increase was in line with the rental increases. Geographical site and catering style type locations have been selected to offer five venues across our campuses to meet the needs of the fully catered students, this still offers flexibility for customers to choose when and where they eat, rather than being restricted to the hall they live in and having to return there for all meals, as was the case before the flexible package was introduced in 2011.

      The package for 2013-14 will cost £57.54 and wherever a blue triangle is noted on a menu then a 10% discount will apply. This discount will not reduce further after 2013-14 as this was always agreed as the base point by University Senior Management.

      We hope you are able to understand that having all catering units open and stocked for fully catered students causes significant financial issues through staff costs, provision costs and major food wastage. Through the defined outlets catering are able to manage costs and services better and this will help ensure a sustainable in house catering service for our customers. The catering team have worked very closely with colleagues in RUSU to try to keep the catering service in house and the steps that have been taken were necessary to achieve that goal.

      With regard to the quality of the food, we run regular drop in feedback sessions on Wednesdays at Wantage, St Patrick’s and Park Eat, please drop in at lunchtime and talk to one of the chefs about any issues or ideas you may have as we are always trying to improve the products and services we offer and we would truly welcome your feedback or any specific issues we can try to tackle.

      The University always welcomes feedback about our services. The National Student Survey is a great way for finalists to let us know how they felt about their time at Reading. You can also provide feedback at Staff-Student Liaison Committees, through Course Reps, and quite often through the websites or social media channels of individual services.

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