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Exceptional outcome for St Mary's

17 August 2011

Once again St Mary's University College finds itself in the top league for student satisfaction.

The BBC and THE are running stories today on the NSS 2011.

The BBC has ranked St Mary's joint third for student satisfaction. THE however places St Mary's in joint second place.

The College Principal, Professor Peter Finn, said:

"The exceptional outcome which St Mary's has achieved in the National Student Survey is a tribute to the way in which our trustees, governors, staff and students are so well engaged with the college mission.

Our purpose is to make a distinctive contribution of service and excellence, in the Catholic tradition, to higher education in Northern Ireland and we have been doing that for 110 years at the Falls Road campus.

The College's distinctiveness is manifest in many ways: institutional autonomy; a specialisation in Teacher Education including Irish Medium, and the Liberal Arts; an ethos and identity which emphasises excellence and pastoral care; an integral element of the Catholic school sector in Northern Ireland and excellent relationships with schools; a mutually beneficial engagement with the local community; academic integration with Queen's University and a high level of commitment to international student mobility.

To be in the same league as Cambridge and Oxford in terms of student satisfaction clearly enhances our attractiveness for students. It is also an outstanding platform from which to launch the College's Development Plan, Strategy 21, in the autumn."

St Mary's is a member of the London based GuildHE which released a statement on the NSS outcome.

GuildHE CEO, Andy Westwood, said:

"On the eve of the reforms to higher education funding to create a market in student choice and put students at the heart of the system, we are pleased that so many GuildHE institutions continue to see improvements in overall student satisfaction. Yet again small institutions like St Mary's University College Belfast and Harper Adams University College are among the highest-scoring institutions, with consumer satisfaction ratings that would be the envy of the commercial sector. This shows that students value education on a human scale, and that smaller and teaching-focused institutions, which have always had student needs at the heart of their mission, provide an excellent student experience in a diverse sector."

GuildHE website.

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