The Times Higher Education Student Experience Survey reveals which institutions are delivering across all aspects of university life. The survey asks students to grade their institution according to twenty-two criteria. The following are just a selection:
- The quality and structure of their course
- Its student union and societies
- Its facilities and environment
- The availability and quality of accommodation
- Good library and opening hours
In 2014, Goldsmiths library was ranked 11th in the UK and 2nd amongst London institutions for ‘good library and opening hours’. We scored significantly higher than some of the top institutions in the UK, such as the University of Nottingham and Durham University.
In 2015, we have again scored well. We are ranked 21st in the UK and 3rd amongst London institutions (only behind Imperial College and Brunel University) for the same question. This year, we outscored the likes of LSE, Durham University again and UCL. The average rating for the library from its students was 6.4, considerably higher than the 6.0 national average. This is, in fact, the same score we received last year. The library’s reputation has also been steadily improving in the annual National Student Survey as well, so across all forms of measurement, we continue to punch above our weight.
The library seeks continuous improvement in the services it provides its users. Highlights of these services in the last academic year include:
- A recurrent increase of £150,000 per year in the library’s resources budget, to improve the ratio of resources per FTE student
- A successful refurbishment of the ground floor help desk area, which includes more social study space and bookable group study rooms
- The introduction of reading list software to make finding items on reading lists simpler and more easily accessible. We are working with academic departments to make this service widely available to students
- Increased communication with students, staff and visitors through our social media channels and Ask Us
- Additional toilets and drinking water facilities
- Increased information skills teaching for students, both embedded into the curricula and via ‘drop in’, including two successful themed weeks in December and February, and well-attended sessions on using the Zotero online referencing software
- Four repositories (Journals Online, Data Online, Archives Online and the very popular Goldsmiths Research Online, used as the College’s prime submission to REF 2014)
- A 300% increase in visitor numbers to Special Collections and Archives and an increased number of events have been held
- Extended opening hours for the textile collection and Constance Howard Gallery from two to three days per week, with a monthly Talking Textiles event for staff, students and interested visitors
- Objects (In)sight – a successful programme of conversations and discussions on how objects from archives and special collections can be used to generate research
- Outreach and widening participation activities with five local schools, designed to prepare sixth form students for life at university
We’d like to thank our students, as well as staff and other visitors for their kind support over the last year and it is very important to us to be held in such esteem.
For more information about the Times Higher Education Student Experience Survey 2015, please click here