Greetings from the Inaugural Student Experience Conference in Sydney. Dr Richard Harvey, University of East Anglia, is speaking on his university's
Rise to the top of the The Student Experience Survey. University of East Anglia was established in the 1960s. Richard commented that the UK higher education system went wrong in the 1980s. In particular he criticized the national ranking of research, which forced some researchers into teaching. East Anglia is a center for climate changed research and was embroiled in controversy over "Climategate". He showed a university "league table" graph comparing his own university with the "Russell Group" (which appears to be the UK equivalent of Australia's Group of Eight, leading universities). He also showed the National Student Survey (NSS), Student Barometer and the Times Education Supplement Student Experience Survey. The survey I find of interest is the Webometrics, which ranks the quality of the university's web presence. The interesting point about the web rankings is that they correlate closely with other more general university rankings.
Richard looked at the NSS in detail. He pointed that that the criteria would not be welcomed by some at universities, as for example, library facilities are not a priority. He pointed out that scores for feedback on students were "remarkably poor" for UK institutions. He suggested universities needed at most a five day turnaround for student feedback.
Richard also pointed out that student satisfaction differs by discipline and nationality. He suggested that this needs to be addressed. But some effects are correlations, rather than causal relationships (such as graduate employment rate being caused by quality of courses, rather than a measure of it).
Richard commented that more attention needed to be paid to the postgraduate experience. I will speak on this a little in my presentation at 3:40pm on "MOOCs and the Student Experience" (see program for other speakers).