University Campus Oldham is celebrating its best-ever set of results that rank it in the top 10 per cent nationally – and the best locally – for student satisfaction.
UCO's overall score of 89 per cent for this measure – derived from 26 different questions about learners’ experiences – is six per cent above the national benchmark in the newly-published National Student Survey (NSS).
The institution's scorecard shows it has the most satisfied students compared to all its local competitors, with its satisfaction rating going up 6.7 per cent from 2019 – and at a time when the national average fell by one per cent.
UCO says this puts it on par with some of the best universities and HE providers in England and is a major boost to its summer recruitment campaign: ‘Home Is Where The Smart Is’.
The NSS is commissioned by the Office for Students (OfS) and carried out on behalf of the UK funding and regulatory bodies. NSS 2020 collected responses from more than 311,000 students from 369 higher education institutions in England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland.
Students were asked 26 questions and UCO's results improved from 2019 in all eight category areas - including the quality of its teaching, support, management, feedback and student voice.
Alun Francis, Oldham College’s Principal and Chief Executive, said: "This is an absolutely stunning endorsement from students at University Campus Oldham. We’re delighted to see such high levels of satisfaction putting UCO above all our local competitors, and in the top ten per cent nationally.
"Most of our students come from the Oldham borough and we pride ourselves on nurturing home-grown talent while also helping them make significant savings on costs like accommodation and travel, and helping them to fit their studies around family life and other commitments.
"With so much uncertainty facing learners around their university options for September, this report makes it official that there really has never been a better time to join the thousands of students choosing to learn locally – and that home really is the smart option for students in Oldham."
UCO opened its doors in 2005 and has been Oldham College's Higher Education provision since 2012.
An OfS Judging Panel awarded UCO a Teaching Excellence and Student Outcomes Framework (TEF) Silver rating in 2019 and found that students from all backgrounds achieve excellent outcomes. It also found that UCO offers excellent physical and digital resources, and a highly-regarded Graduate Hub to help students progress into meaningful and sustained employment.
Mr Francis added: "I want to say a huge thank you to all our staff and students who worked so incredibly hard over the past year.
"In three key areas UCO is in the top 10 per cent nationally and also more than 10 per cent above the national benchmark for the number of students agreeing their course gave them opportunities to study their subject in-depth (95 per cent), tutors provided helpful comments on their work (88 per cent) and that they felt challenged to achieve their best work (91 per cent).
"But what’s also really special about UCO is the close-knit and supportive environment they have nurtured at their town centre campus. Again, we are in top 10 per cent nationally and 13 per cent above the national average for this.
"Everyone at UCO can feel proud of these results which show they are providing the best Higher Education offer in the area. Our message to any students still considering their options for higher education in September is that they really should visit our website and contact us to find out more about UCO before making such an important life decision."
Students at University Campus Oldham's 2019 graduation ceremony.