34% of students satisfied with Newcastle University, survey suggests

Joe Molander reports on the findings of a survey carried out by the Courier

Joe Molander
29th September 2020
Image: Chris Thomson on Flickr
Only 34% of students are satisfied with Newcastle University, a study conducted by the Courier suggests. 39% report being dissatisfied, of which 15% are “very dissatisfied”.

The survey was conducted earlier this month, and asked respondents for their opinion on the University and Vice Chancellor Chris Day. It also touched on the recent cyber attack.

When asked about the low satisfaction rate, the University pointed to the latest National Students Survey. This survey suggests that over 82% of students at Newcastle were satisfied with the quality of their course.

Data for this survey was collected between January and April 2020, months before the cyber attack occurred.

The Courier’s survey asked respondents where they first heard that the attack was being carried out by criminals. Only 13% were first told through University communication, with 79% first hearing about it from local, national or student media.

Only three respondents were very satisfied with how the University communicated about the cyber attack

Of the 206 respondents, only eight reported being satisfied with how the University communicated about the attack, of which just three reported being “very satisfied”.

Speaking to the Courier, The University apologised for the disruption caused by the cyber attack, and insisted “we have kept our current and prospective students informed by email with the latest updates”.

“While we were heavily engaged in an emergency response to the incident, our first briefing to students was sent 48 hours after the incident was discovered on Sunday morning before a Bank Holiday.”

For several students, Newcastle’s reputation has endured.

 “I still love Newcastle and am excited to join the University,” explained one respondent to the survey. “I think if joining students were given the same information as current students, it would’ve been more helpful.”

Only 8% of students are satisfied with Chris Day as Vice Chancellor

Instead, students seemed to direct their anger at Vice Chancellor Chris Day. Where 34% of respondents were satisfied with the University, just 8% were satisfied with Day.

One respondent explained they were “very unsatisfied with Chris Day in his role”.

“I feel that this is yet another issue that has been grossly mishandled, following the strike action earlier this year and the issue surrounding his comments over ‘another Warwick’ last year.”

However, people were more likely not to hold a strong opinion either way of the Vice Chancellor than of the University. 38% of respondents reported being “neither satisfied nor dissatisfied” with Chris Day as Vice Chancellor, compared to just over a quarter with the University.

Respondents were also asked about Newcastle’s drop in The Guardian’s university rankings by 16 places since last year, putting it below Northumbria University. A slim majority were unaware of the drop, and a slimmer majority still found it surprising.

In a statement to the Courier, the University said “We can assure our students of our dedication to provide them all with an educational experience at Newcastle University that they and we can be proud of.”

Featured Image: Chris Thomson on Flickr

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AUTHOR: Joe Molander
Head of Current Affairs and co-founder of The Toon Lampoon. Politics, interviews, satire and the Courier's leading authority on frosted tips. @JoeMolander on Twitter and full portfolio available on Muckrack.

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