The Higher Education Academy’s (HEA) widely-adopted Postgraduate Taught Experience Survey (PTES) 2016 has gathered the most comprehensive feedback yet on the state of taught postgraduate education in the UK.
With responses from well over 82,000 postgraduates in 108 participating institutions, the key findings of the survey are:
- The overall state of taught postgraduate provision in the UK is good, with 83% of respondents satisfied with the quality of their course
- Students were very positive about their experience of teaching, as 90% saidstaff were enthusiastic, and 86% reported that the course had enhanced their academic ability
- Positive trends were observed across most types of higher education provider (HEP), though students at research-focused institutions rated feedback and assessment less positively than those at teaching-focused HEPs
- There has been a significant positive trend in resources across the sector from 2014 to 2016, with students at Pre-92 HEPs generally rating resources more positively
- There has been a significant positive trend in students feeling they are encouraged to be involved in course decisions
- Levels of unmanageable workload remain a concern, with negative movement overall, and continuing significant negative trends for those taking PGCEs;
Professor Stephanie Marshall, Chief Executive of the HEA said, “It really is encouraging to read that postgraduates are largely positive about teaching and their experience on their courses. Of course, there will always be room for improvements in teaching - however good it is. Our report helps institutions identify where enhancements are needed, and we can help them deliver solutions.
“It’s particularly pleasing to see the increasing trend in the involvement of taught postgraduates in course decision-making. It is this type of positive engagement that helps to build effective and lasting enhancements in courses, including in Assessment and Feedback which, despite some promising signs of improvement, remains stubbornly behind other areas.”
Professor Marshall added, “PTES is now really well-established in the sector’s calendar. It’s widely used and highly valued. The survey has given taught postgraduates a national voice and tracks many of the aspects of teaching the government is seeking to measure in the Teaching Excellence Framework.”
2016 is PTES’ eighth year and the third in its redeveloped form. In each of the last three years, over 100 institutions have participated, and it is a key performance indicator for many of them.
Next year PTES, along with the HEA’s Postgraduate Research Experience Survey (PRES), will be available to universities across the globe for the first time. This will generate a wider dataset to help institutions benchmark their practice globally. This has been possible through a partnership between the HEA and i-graduate. The move will align these surveys with i-graduate’s flagship International Student Barometer (ISB), implemented by over 1,400 institutions across 33 countries.
The report is here
To hear more about the results join our webinar