NSS 2015: RNCM is Top Place for Music Students

The RNCM has been recognised as the highest scoring UK independent music college in the 2015 National Student Survey (NSS) for overall student satisfaction just months after being named the UK’s leading music college for research.

The results, published on 12 August, give the RNCM an overall satisfaction score of 86%, placing it above all other independent music colleges and conservatoires involved in the annual exercise. The high percentage emulates 2014’s Research Excellence Framework(REF) survey, in which the Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE) announced the RNCM as the UK’s leading music college for research.

Professor Linda Merrick, RNCM Principal, said: ‘The NSS is a very important survey for the higher education sector as it provides vital information from students on the quality of teaching and learning they receive. We are delighted with this year’s results, which follow the College’s exceptional REF outcome and confirm the RNCM’s commitment to providing a world-class education for its students.

‘In the interests of further enhancing the student experience, earlier this year we officially reopened the RNCM Concert Hall as part of a £7.1 million redevelopment project. The extensive work also reconfigured the backstage areas of the RNCM Concert Hall and Theatre to include new changing rooms and en-suite dressing rooms alongside new wardrobe and laundry facilities. A student deck, seminar room and new practice pods were also created, and capacity for the RNCM Lecture Theatre increased, all to support higher student numbers and provide a professional learning environment at industry standard.’

Through initiatives such as The Platform (an international centre for orchestral, ensemble and vocal training), the RNCM offers young musicians from all over the world unparalleled placement and work experience opportunities with top orchestras, ensembles, opera companies and opera studios across Europe. And with further work experience placements available within the wider music industry, together with the 350 recital and chamber music engagements the College contracts in the region, RNCM students continue to graduate with excellent employment prospects.

Professor Merrick continued: ‘Knowing that London can be a highly competitive, and sometimes daunting, place to be a music student, the ethos at the RNCM is on providing the highest quality tuition and training in a supportive but challenging and nurturing environment. As a thriving performance venue, we run an extensive programme of over 400 public events each year, at the heart of which are performances given by our students. In short, we are proud of our distinctive offer and commitment to the students who choose to study with us in the vibrant cultural City of Manchester.’

Conducted annually since 2005, the NSS is a national initiative running across all publicly funded Higher Education Institutions in England, Wales, Northern Ireland and the majority of Scotland. Through a series of 22 questions (scored 1 to 5), final year undergraduates are asked to provide feedback on seven areas of their degree programme: teaching, assessment and feedback, academic support, organisation and management, learning resources, personal development, and overall satisfaction.

At the RNCM, each of the seven areas showed improvement, but students were particularly impressed with teaching, assessment, academic support and personal development, with the School of Vocal Studies and Opera achieving an outstanding 100% in all categories. The overall result showed the College was also above the Higher Education Council for England’s benchmark of 82%.

28 August 2015