Individual attention brings student satisfaction


The results of this year’s National Student Survey show that today’s students are happiest when studying in universities and colleges that pay them more individual attention, GuildHE leaders have said.

The high level of student support provided by institutions like Bishop Grosseteste University College, Harper Adams University College, and University College Birmingham, helps explain why they have achieved or exceeded the student satisfaction ratings of some of the country’s most prestigious universities.

Other GuildHE institutions that feature high in the student satisfaction rankings this year include the University of Winchester, St Mary’s University College Twickenham, and the University of Worcester.

Alice Hynes, chief executive of GuildHE, said common features among nearly all of the institutions with top satisfaction ratings were the presence of a collegiate environment that focussed on developing the whole student, and a relatively small size that made it easier to give students personal attention.

She said: “At a time when many universities are focussing on gaining more research income or swelling their student numbers, GuildHE institutions continue with considerable success to play to their strengths – concentrating on delivering top quality teaching in a highly supportive environment in which students feel they are being treated as an individual.

“It is clear from this year’s results that this approach is highly valued by students. There is evidence too that employers value the kind of well-rounded and mature graduates that tend to emerge from studying in this kind of environment.”

The results follow publication earlier this year of performance indicators that showed that students from disadvantaged backgrounds and those entering higher education from state schools are less likely to drop out if studying in a small university or college where more individual student attention is possible.

Professor David Baker, GuildHE Chair and Principal of University College Plymouth St Mark and St John, said: “I am delighted to see that once again GuildHE members have done well in terms of satisfying their students – a particular achievement in the context of our strong track record in widening participation.”

Professor Muriel Robinson, Principal of Bishop Grosseteste University College, whose student satisfaction rating this year matched that of Oxford University, said: “We are obviously very pleased with this vote of confidence from our students. We believe this outcome is largely due to the fact that we listen to our students, and we act on what we hear.”

Professor Wynne Jones, principal of Harper Adams University College, whose institution achieved a higher satisfaction rating than many other larger well-known universities, said: “The quality of the student experience lies at the core of our strategy. It involves continual innovation and enhancement of the curriculum and its delivery, allied to exposing students to very capable staff, quality teaching and learning resources, and partnership with industry.”

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