Universiteit Leiden

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High response to NSE 2021: Leiden students fairly satisfied despite coronavirus

Leiden students are fairly satisfied with their degree programme. This is clear from the first results of the National Student Survey 2021, which was held this spring. The scores are somewhat lower than the national average. Students are most positive about their lecturers, their contact with them and the content and format of their degree programme.

High response

An impressive 14,459 Leiden students – 4,105 more than last time – completed the National Student Survey 2021, a response percentage of 45. In an online questionnaire students said how satisfied they were with different aspects of the teaching at their university. The survey was taken by students from Leiden University between 23 January and 14 March 2021. Nationally over 840,000 students from research universities and universities of applied sciences were invited to take the survey, and 39% did.

Positive about lecturers

The results of the NSE are positive in many areas, which is good news, particularly in these exceptional times. Leiden students give their degree programme a general mark of 3.82 on a five-point scale. The scores on the six core themes were between 3.04 and 3.89. The core themes are: content and format, connections to professional practice/career, lecturers, guidance/counselling, examinations and assessment, and engagement and contact. Like students elsewhere in the country, Leiden students are most positive about the content of their programme and about their lectures. They are significantly more positive about their lecturers than the national average for this theme. For instance, about how the lecturers are experts on their subject, are inspiring and know a lot about the professional practice. The score for engagement and contact is also high (3.88), which says a lot about the lecturers’ commitment in this time of hybrid teaching.


We want to thank all 14,459 students for taking the effort to complete the NSE! And the staff who helped achieve this high response rate. Thanks to your efforts the university will be able use the results for its study guidance and quality assurance. The high response make the results even more reliable. What is more, the university donated €0,25 per respondent to the LUF’s #wakeuptocorona crowdfunder, which resulted in grand total of €3,637.75.

Leiden students are fairly satisfied

Although Leiden students are fairly satisfied with their degree programme, they are less satisfied with just over half of the general topics than the students from other universities. Nearly all of Leiden’s scores are below the national average. That is nothing new – our university has had somewhat lower scores than the national average for several years ago. As a university we take this very seriously and will continue to work to improve student satisfaction and the quality of our teaching. This is through initiatives such as the Leiden vision on teaching and learning, ‘Learning@LeidenUniversity’. One of the ambitions of the vision is employability enhancement, which we are trying to achieve by helping the degree programmes put together a complete range of career preparation activities.

Results by degree programme and faculty

A breakdown of the results per degree programme will now be prepared and sent to the faculties and degree programmes. The results will then be further analysed and decisions taken on any follow-up activities. This is primarily a task for the quality assurance staff at the faculties, but the programmes committees also play an important role here. You will hear from your faculty and degree programme about what has emerged about your degree programme from the NSE, and how the positives will be strengthened and how any areas for improvement will be addressed. It is worth noting that in our efforts to improve our teaching we don’t just look at the NSE. Tools such as course and programme evaluations, and information from the participation councils also give us an idea of what is going well in our teaching and what needs more attention.

More information?

See all the scores for the NSE core themes and the national average for research universities in the attached fact sheets or find how your degree programmes was evaluated in the NSE Dashboard.

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