New model for UK higher education more than makes the grade

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Students at New College of the Humanities, with nearly 40 per cent more contact hours and nearly double the modules, are twice as satisfied with their academic experience as students at leading UK universities.

An independent survey* reveals that students at New College of the Humanities are twice as satisfied with their academic experience as students at leading UK universities.

The research - finding that 63 per cent of New College of the Humanities students state that their university experience has exceeded their expectations (compared to just 32 per cent of students elsewhere) - has been released in the wake of the annual HEPI survey.

The study also found that students at New College of the Humanities who responded enjoy 40 per cent more contact hours, and complete twice as many assignments as their counterparts, putting them amongst the UK’s hardest working students. Reassuringly, a whopping 99 per cent of them feel that their tutors are supportive and helpful, compared to 76 per cent at leading UK universities.

Master of the College, Professor A C Grayling, said: “The model works; those who want a rigorous academic experience see that value for money in higher education means more contact hours, more modules, more support and smaller tutorial groups. We set out to create the best learning environment possible, and we’re delighted to have exceeded our students’ expectations.”

John Gray, President of the NCH Student Union and studying Economics BSc with Law at New College of the Humanities, said: “These results are no surprise to me. Having previously studied at a Russell Group university, it’s refreshing to be in an environment where tutors and lecturers are focused on high quality teaching, alongside their research interests.”

According to the findings:
●    91 per cent of New College of the Humanities students feel that it is easy for them to schedule time with academic staff outside timetabled sessions, against 73 per cent at other leading UK universities.
●    New College of the Humanities students are set an average of 13.7 assignments per term - more than double that of Russell Group universities.
●    At New College of the Humanities 84 per cent of feedback on assignments is given in person, in contrast to 40 per cent of feedback at other leading UK universities.

New College of the Humanities was launched in 2012 to offer a new model of higher education for the humanities in the UK. NCH students enjoy one of the best staff-to-student ratios in UK higher education and benefit from a high number of quality contact hours including engaging and challenging one-to-one tutorials with academics hand-picked for their proven enthusiasm and ability in teaching as well as for their research interests.

In addition to their 12-module single honours undergraduate degree from the University of London, all NCH students study a further eight modules. These comprise modules from another of the College’s degree subjects or Art History, Classical Studies, or Psychology as a contextual course, and core modules in Applied Ethics, Logic & Critical and Science Literacy, plus the College’s three-year Professional Programme.

The College’s rolling applications process is independent of UCAS and applications can be made in addition to the five UCAS choices and can still be made for entry in 2014.

Visit http://www.NCHum.org for all enquiries and applications.

Ends

For further information, please contact:
Desi Lyon
T: +44 (0)2072911385
E: desi.lyon(at)NCHum(dot)org

Notes to editors:

About the research

*In March 2014 NCH commissioned YouthSight, a specialist youth, student and graduate research agency, to run an abbreviated version of the HEPI 2013 Student Academic Experience Survey with a group of NCH students. The NCH results were then compared with the official HEPI results for students of humanities and social sciences at Russell Group universities. YouthSight have worked with HEPI for six years, and conducted the fieldwork for the annual HEPI Student Academic Experience Survey.

The statistics show (percentage in brackets reflects HEPI results for those studying humanities and social sciences at Russell Group universities):

General:
●    63 per cent of students at New College of the Humanities say that their university experience has exceeded their expectations. (32 per cent)
Contact time:
●    New College of the Humanities students experience an average of 13.8 hours of contact time per week. (9.93)
●    Over 97 per cent of contact time at New College of the Humanities is with an academic member of staff. (77 per cent for groups of 0-5 students/ 76 per cent for groups of 6-15 students)

Teaching quality:
●    99 per cent of students at New College of the Humanities say that teaching staff are helpful and supportive. (76 per cent)
●    85 per cent students at NCH believe that teaching staff work hard to make their subjects interesting. (73 per cent)
●    88 per cent students at New College of the Humanities say that teaching staff clearly explain course goals and requirements. (67 per cent)
●    88 per cent students at New College of the Humanities say that teaching staff regularly initiate debates and discussions. (50 per cent)
●    84 per cent students at New College of the Humanities believe that teaching staff use lectures to guide independent study. (66 per cent)
●    88 per cent of students at New College of the Humanities feel the course goals and requirements are clearly explained to them (67 per cent)

Assignments and feedback:
●    Students at New College of the Humanities complete 13.7 assignments per term (6.19)
●    84 per cent of feedback at New College of the Humanities is given in person (40 per cent)
●    91 per cent of students at New College of the Humanities claim it is easy to schedule time to discuss work, or discuss work on email, outside of scheduled work hours (76 per cent)
●    88 per cent of students at New College of the Humanities state they have sufficient access to academic staff outside timetabled sessions in order to discuss aspects of their work (69 per cent)
●    88 per cent of students at New College of the Humanities say they feel motivated to do their best work (64 per cent)

About New College of the Humanities

New College of the Humanities (NCH) offers a new model of higher education for the humanities in the UK. NCH students enjoy one of the best staff-to-student ratios in UK higher education and benefit from a high number of quality contact hours including engaging and challenging one-to-one tutorials.

Our professors are international experts in their fields and our full- time academic staff members have been selected for their proven ability in teaching as well as for their research interests.

NCH welcomed its first intake of students in September 2012 and prepares students for undergraduate degrees in: Economics BSc; English BA; History BA; Law LLB, Philosophy BA and Politics & International Relations BSc.

In addition to their 12-module single honours undergraduate degree from the University of London, all NCH students study a further eight modules. These comprise four modules from another degree subject or Art History, Classical Studies, or Psychology as a contextual course, and three core modules in Applied Ethics, Logic & Critical Thinking, and Science Literacy, plus the College’s three-year Professional Programme.

The College is centrally located in Bloomsbury, London’s university district and students, as associate members of University of London, have access to many of the resources of the University of London: the exceptional library in Senate House, the University of London Union, sports facilities, and many other opportunities to enrich themselves through extra-curricular activity.

The College’s rolling applications process is independent of UCAS and applications can be made in addition to the five UCAS choices. Visit http://www.NCHum.org or call 020 7637 4550 for all enquiries and applications.

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Desi Lyon
New College of the Humanities Ltd
+44 2072911385
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