"Are pressures on HE professionals to deliver student satisfaction too high?"http://www.guardian.co.uk/higher-education-network/blog/poll/2011/aug/17/national-student-survey-pressures
With the new fees regime and NSS results just out (student satifaction up overall to 83%) is student satisfaction putting too much pressure on academics to conform or perform to what the students feel is a good experience?
Do students know what to expect when they come to univesity or will they be expecting too much with the massive hike in fees?
Is Student satisfaction a fair assessment of the quality of a university experience? or should we find a different way that takes onboard the quality not quantity of contact hours and support? Are students the right people to be measuring the quality of an educational establishment or are they just part of the overall picture? Do the staff views of the quality of provison count? or should there be a 'mystery shopper' who looks at many different establishments who provide the same course?
Student and staff expectations can be very different and there is no easy way to measure the overall student satisfaction as students are individuals and will expect and need different things from their university education, and some subjects will outperform others and some courses will have more dedicated staff. If the lecturing staff care about their subject and about their teaching it shows. We have produced short books in a series called Impact which details how much the staff care about their work and the innovations in their teaching. Hopefully this will help students make an infomed decison and show who in their subject is dedicated enough to make a real difference to the student experience.