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CDD and Rose Bruford rated top in drama student satisfaction, survey finds

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The Conservatoire for Dance and Drama and Rose Bruford College have been voted the best university-level drama institutions for overall satisfaction, according to a UK-wide student survey.

Both training providers scored 87% in this year’s National Student Survey, which compares student happiness across higher and further education institution courses. The average score this year across all participating institutions was 85%.

Of the Royal Central School of Speech and Drama’s students, 85% agreed they were satisfied with the quality of their course, while the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland scored 84%.

Other schools that achieved more than 80% in levels of student satisfaction included Guildhall School of Music and Drama, Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music and Drama, and Queen Margaret University Edinburgh, while the Liverpool Institute of Performing Arts scored 72% this year.

Meanwhile, music institutions scored very highly, with the Royal Northern College of Music achieving 91% and the Royal Academy of Music 88%.

Rose Bruford College has seen its scores steadily increase over the past few years, from 79% in 2011’s survey and 86% in 2012.

Principal Michael Earley said: “I think the results have improved over the past few years largely because Rose Bruford, like a lot of conservatoires, takes more seriously its role as a specialist university.

“For many years, places like Rose Bruford, RADA and Guildhall have sold themselves as drama schools only. Now, with students paying full fees of £9,000, they really have to look at themselves as universities.”

He said this involved improving facilities and providing more academic teaching alongside vocational training, such as essay writing and critical thinking.

LAMDA principal Joanna Read, a member of the CDD’s prinicipals management group, which has eight affiliate members also including RADA and the Central School of Ballet, said: “We are very pleased with the results. Over the past few years, the Conservatoire’s rates of satisfaction have been improving and we are maintaining our standards. All the conservatoire institutions are small, specialist schools, and we work very closely with our students, listening to feedback and providing tiny course adjustments term by term.”

More than 300,000 final-year students responded to the survey, from 154 higher education providers and 165 further education colleges across the UK. This year includes the highest number of responses since the NSS was launched nine years ago. It is published by the Higher Education Funding Council for England.