Somerville soars in satisfaction survey

Somerville and Merton students are among the most satisfied with their college experience, while graduates at colleges including St Cross, Kellogg and St Antony’s are the least, according to a major survey of 5,601 students.

University-wide results of the Student Barometer are publicly shared but The Oxford Student can reveal how individual colleges fared when the online survey was taken by 33 percent of students during November and December last year.

On questions including quality of learning experience, support services, library facilities and whether students would recommend the university to potential applicants, Somerville’s student body was the happiest.

“This just confirms my belief that Somerville leads the way in the experience it offers students,” commented JCR President Tom Allsup. “It’s also a clear reminder that you can’t judge a college by the Norrington Table alone.”

“We listen to what students tell us and strive to deal with any problems,” added Principal Alice Prochaska. “I am so proud of what Somerville offers in terms of the learning experience and living experience; and how about that figure for the Library!”

100 percent of Somerville respondents were satisfied with their college library, compared with 35 percent of Kellogg and 38 percent of St Cross.

Kellogg President, Jonathan Michie, was “naturally disappointed” with the figures, which also showed his college to be amongst the least satisfied on living experience, sports facilities and several other questions. “We have just spent heavily on student accommodation and are consulting with our students closely and investing further in library facilities in response to what they have identified as the priorities for students at Kellogg. I hope the hard work of our fantastic MCR committee will be reflected in improved feedback in the future,” he said.

A St Cross spokesperson responded: “St Cross does need a better library: we are intending to provide one as part of a new building to be ready by our 50th anniversary in 2015.”

If Masterchef visits Oxford again, it appears they should visit Trinity or Merton, where 100 and 99 percent of their respondents respectively are satisfied with their canteen, and avoid St Hilda’s, whose caterers are “deeply concerned” about their 70 percent rating.

Domestic Bursar, Gerri Cane said: “We are genuinely upset and concerned by this as we aim at all times to do the best for our students.

Merton students are also the most satisfied with their living experience.

“We strive to offer good quality accommodation at a reasonable charge,” said Douglas Bamber, Merton Domestic Bursar.

“The kitchen prides itself in producing high quality freshly prepared food. It’s great to see it being recognised by the students here.”

Satisfaction with sports grounds varies widely across colleges, with less than 44 percent of students at St Anne’s and Teddy Hall happy with their facilities. St John’s, in contrast, was 96 percent satisfied.

Their President, Sir Michael Scholar, cited recent refurbishment of their sports changing facilities at Woodstock Road.

University-wide, 91 percent of all Oxford students are satisfied with their overall experience.

94 percent of 2,816 undergraduates surveyed were satisfied with the quality of their tutorials. A University spokesperson said: “It is gratifying to see our world-class tutorial system so wholeheartedly endorsed by its students.”