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NSS 2021: PAIS top in every category among Russell Group peers

NSS logo with the text The Department of Politics and International Studies (PAIS) is thrilled to announce that, for the second year in a row, we are placed 1st for “overall student satisfaction” among Russell Group Politics Departments in the 2021 National Student Survey (NSS). This is a position that we are proud to have held for 4 out of the past 6 years.

In the NSS 2021, PAIS came top in every category among Russell Group Politics Departments:

  • 1st for Teaching
  • 1st for Learning Opportunities
  • 1st for Assessment and Feedback
  • 1st for Organisation and Management
  • 1st for Learning Resources
  • 1st for Learning Community
  • 1st for Student Voice
  • 1st for Academic Support

The 2021 results show that we are 1st in the Russell Group on 20 of the 27 NSS questions and in 2nd place on a further 5 questions.

For six years in a row, PAIS has ranked either 1st or 2nd on overall student satisfaction amongst the Russell Group. The 2021 outcomes reflect our best ever performance across all categories in our peer group; they demonstrate our close and effective partnership with the student body and our sustained commitment to the student experience.


PAIS position in Russell Group for overall satisfaction














Across all programmes with which we are involved - both single and joint honours - we achieved 84% overall satisfaction. The Russell Group average for Politics was 72%.

These impressive outcomes are due to an outstanding team effort among our fantastic students, academics, and professional services colleagues, and demonstrate a partnership which we are extremely proud of. Thank you to everyone for all your hard work and support for our teaching and student experience during a very challenging year for all concerned. We are pleased that our approach to blended delivery during restrictions arising from the COVID-19 pandemic was appreciated by our students and we will continue to learn from student feedback to further enhance the student experience in 2021/22.

We look forward to continuing to work in partnership with our amazing students and dedicated staff to sustain and build on these strong results, which reflect our deep commitment to research-led teaching excellence. At the start of the new academic year, we will feed back in greater detail to all students and we will discuss and take forward ideas for further enhancement of the PAIS student experience via our Student Staff Liaison Committees (SSLCs).

In particular, we will intensify our work on liberating and decolonising the curriculum, employability and building a sense of community and belonging. We will support and promote student wellbeing and work with partner Departments to ensure continued excellence across all programmes, in particular joint degrees.

*See the Office for Students website for more details and the full data. The results are based on the official Common Aggregation Hierarchy (CAH) subject breakdowns and the 20 Russell Group institutions which met the publications threshold for Politics.

PAIS Professor Shirin Rai elected Fellow of the British Academy

The Department of Politics and International Studies (PAIS) at the University of Warwick is delighted to announce that Professor Shirin Rai, Professor of International Political Economy, has been elected to a Fellowship of the British Academy.

This prestigious award recognises outstanding research across the Humanities and Social Sciences. In 2021, the British Academy elected 52 UK Fellows; the University of Warwick's press release can be accessed here.

On receiving her award, Professor Rai said: “I am delighted to have been elected as a Fellow of the British Academy and look forward to working with colleagues in the Academy - particularly in the Politics and International Relations Section - through my research and impact work to address issues of international development, social (in)equalities and innovative methodologies. I thank colleagues in PAIS and the wider gender and politics community for supporting my work”.

Professor Nick Vaughan-Williams, Head of PAIS, commented: “Professor Rai’s election to a Fellowship of the British Academy reflects her long-standing status as a world-leading researcher in gender, political economy, and development. Her Directorship of the Warwick Interdisciplinary Research Centre for International Development (WICID) – hosted in PAIS – is a beacon of excellence across research, education, and impact in the Social Sciences at-large. Colleagues and I are proud of Professor Rai’s scholarly achievements, but PAIS is also very fortunate to benefit from her academic leadership and warm collegiality. Her tireless efforts to support early career scholars and embed principles of equality, diversity, and inclusion have been transformational in the Department. Very many congratulations, Shirin”.

The PAIS Department is home to two Fellows of the British Academy: Professor Shirin Rai and Professor Stuart Elden. 

Mon 26 Jul 2021, 12:40 | Tags: Front Staff Impact PhD MA UG Faculty of Social Sciences

Online report launch: Racism, mental health and pre-crime policing: the ethics of Vulnerability Support Hubs

Medact's upcoming report Racism, mental health and pre-crime policing: the ethics of Vulnerability Support Hubs is based on documents obtained through a series of long-running Freedom of Information requests. It exposes how a counterterrorism police-led project blurs the boundaries between security and care in disturbing and dangerous ways. We will hear from the three report co-authors and other experts in the field:

  • Dr Hilary Aked – Medact’s Research and Policy Manager
  • Dr Tarek Younis – Cultural and critical clinical psychologist and Lecturer in Psychology at Middlesex University
  • Dr Charlotte Heath Kelly – Reader in Politics and International Studies, University of Warwick
  • Vicki Nash ─ Head of Policy, Campaigns and Public Affairs at Mind

Please register for the event at Medact's website:

Wed 19 May 2021, 12:14 | Tags: Front Staff Impact PhD MA Faculty of Social Sciences Research

Online conference: "Bridging the EU and Russia" Policy Conference of the EU Jean Monnet Network, “Between the EU and Russia”

Join "Bridging the EU and Russia" Policy Conference of the EU Jean Monnet Network “Between the EU and Russia” on 4, 11, and 18 May, 2021 Online

This policy conference of the EU Jean Monnet Network "Between the EU and Russia" (BEAR) seeks to be a venue for knowledge exchange between academics and policy makers in EU institutions. The BEAR network connects 26 scholars from 11 universities from the EU, UK, US, Canada and Russia to explore the mobilization, influence, protection, and claim-making of regional minority groups on EU’s eastern borders, and to investigate how societal actors engage with these overlapping influences of the EU and Russia.

This policy conference brings together scholars from the network and EU officials from the European Commission and the European Parliament to discuss the following themes on 4, 11, and 18 May, 2021. Participation is free, registration is necessary.

On 4 May, 2021: introduction of the network, a panel on Eastern Partnership, policy commentary by Vassilis Maragos, Head of Unit, European Commission, DG NEAR, and academic keynote speech by Prof. Timothy Colton from Harvard University.

On 11 May, 2021: panels on Conflict Management in the European Neighbourhood; and EU, Russia and Regional Dynamics, with policy commentaries from Lawrence Meredith, Director, DG NEAR, Neighbourhood East, European Commission; and Enrique Mora, Deputy Secretary-General for Policy Affairs, European Union External Action Service.

On 18 May, 2021: panels on Migration and Citizenship Politics; and EU, Russia and Minority Politics, and a keynote speech from a policy perspective by Mathieu Briens, Deputy Head of Cabinet of the High Representative of the European Commission. Policy commentaries: from Tom Snels, Deputy Head of Cabinet of the Commissioner for Home Affairs, European Commission, and Marina Kaljurand, Member of the European Parliament, Group of the Progressive Alliance of Socialists and Democrats.

Open registrations through Eventbrite and more information about the events and the programme are available here:

Tue 04 May 2021, 10:03 | Tags: Front Staff PhD MA Faculty of Social Sciences Research

Advert for students: Race and Ethnic Minority Student Liaison Representative

As part of PAIS’s commitment to raise awareness of the issues that students of colour and ethnic minorities face amongst the PAIS community, to address the race and ethnicity-based attainment gap, and to campaign against racism in all its forms, PAIS is introducing an Race and Ethnic Minority Student Liaison Representative position at the UG, PGT and PGR level.

Thu 15 Oct 2020, 15:31 | Tags: PhD, MA, UG

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