Posted Wednesday 10 August 2016
Kingston University's sport science and nutrition courses have achieved the gold standard 100 per cent student satisfaction rating in the National Student Survey (NSS) for the second year running. Both courses have topped the NSS leader board this year alongside four other high performers – learning disability nursing, product and furniture design, business information technology and psychology with criminology – which also all received the maximum 100 per cent seal of approval from satisfied students.
The results come at the end of an action-packed year for sport science and nutrition undergraduates who, in January, acted as timekeepers and witnesses when ultra runner Susie Chan set a new 12-hour treadmill world record in the high performance laboratory at the Penrhyn Road campus. Also used by Sir Ranulph Fiennes during his heat acclimation training ahead of the Marathon des Sables, the facility is just one example of the state-of-the-art equipment and top level academic expertise students have access to during their degrees. Their learning is set to befurther enhanced when the first stage of a major £6.8m project to create new science, technology, engineering and maths facilities opens in September. Key features will include ultra-modern chemistry and pharmaceutics laboratories, complete with sophisticated integrated technology.
Elsewhere on campus, disability nursing students in the Faculty of Health, Social Care and Education have worked with clients who might not be quite as high profile but require just as much expertise from the professionals entrusted with their care. Students specialising in this branch of nursing have had the opportunity to hone their knowledge in Kingston University's purpose-built clinical skills laboratories. Designed to replicate a real-life home environment, the simulated suite is equipped with live video monitoring to enable teaching staff to observe and coach students, ensuring they are ready to deal confidently with patients as soon as they embark on their careers. Students have also developed their nursing skills on projects exploring alternative therapies such as the creative arts, as well as gaining an international perspective through placements in countries as far afield as Sierra Leone and Bulgaria.
Meanwhile, product and furniture design students have been bringing their ideas to life in the recently upgraded 3D materials workshop at the Knights Park campus, working with a vast array of different materials and construction techniques and receiving hands-on support from specialist technicians. Highlights of 2016's annual Faculty of Art, Design and Architecture end-of-year showcase included a product and furniture design student's concept for a meditation chair to help weary travellers unwind during airport stopovers and a stress-busting range of cutlery and crockery created to connect with acupuncture pressure points.
At Kingston Business School, the business information technology NSS success comes as it gears up to launch an innovative programme of three-year integrated business degrees this autumn. The new portfolio will give students even more opportunity to get vital, hands-on industry experience, offering up to nine months on a work or research placement, overseas study opportunity or business start-up project.
In the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences, psychology and criminology students have also been making their mark in the real world. They have tackled national and global crime issues and contemporary and future policy concerns as part of their course work and applied their learning to real-life crime problems through visits to the Crown Court and proposing recommendations for policing.
As well as highlighting success across a range of subjects, the National Student Survey has also brought other good news for the University. Student satisfaction rates increased in two key areas – assessment and feedback and organisation and management – while the University's learning resources services once again received a resounding endorsement from students, with satisfaction levels of 85 per cent.
Deputy Vice-Chancellor for Education Professor Lesley-Jane Eales-Reynolds said the NSS provided valuable insight into students' university experience. "Our priority is to make sure our students graduate as confident and capable individuals ready to take their first steps on the career ladder and we work tirelessly to put them at the heart of everything we do," she said. "These results demonstrate the University's unwavering commitment to listening to and acting on our students' feedback to ensure they have the best experience possible during their degrees."