Principal updates on results of NSS 2021

Dear Colleagues,

This has been a challenging year for Higher Education, as both our colleague and student communities have continued to come to terms with the impact of the pandemic.

And while this year above all years we should be aware of the limitations of league tables in reflecting the reality of this story, it’s important that we note the positive performance in this year’s National Student Survey results (NSS).

As we expected, there has been a general fall in scores across the sector, which reflects the difficulties imposed by the pandemic. However, it’s pleasing to see that the University of Glasgow has performed relatively strongly in comparison with the sector, with our overall position improving to seventh in the UK for overall satisfaction, up from 14th last year.

Our overall score of 83.7%, while down on last year’s score of 87.1%, also now puts us second in the Russell Group and fourth overall in Scotland.

There are some excellent results at subject level too; you can view a full breakdown of the NSS data in the stats compiled by Planning Insight and Analysis [GUID login].

I do not underestimate the amount of work that has gone into delivering teaching and student support over the last 16 months, and we should be proud of this performance.

While recognising the full extent of all your hard work can’t be captured in any ranking or league table, this is evidence of how we have pulled together as one team and one community to ensure a positive experience for our students through the hardest of years.

I’d like to offer my thanks to all those colleagues who have worked tirelessly and with dedication since the beginning of the pandemic: from the many colleagues who have been working on-campus throughout to ensure safe and secure environments, to the teaching and academic support staff who have delivered online and blended learning, and those colleagues in the myriad of student support and professional services roles. I am also acutely aware that many colleagues are in the midst of delivering summer teaching on programmes with January starts and that in many cases this has coincided with marking and exam boards.

Working together and with the utmost professionalism, you have ensured that we can continue to offer our students an experience that, while certainly very different from previous years, still has the hallmarks of the world-class student experience for which our University is renowned.

Thank you again, and I hope that you are able to enjoy a break at some stage during the summer.


Professor Sir Anton Muscatelli

Principal and Vice-Chancellor

University of Glasgow

First published: 16 July 2021