Student Academic Experince Survey (SAES)
PINPOINT HOW YOU CAN SHAPE AND MEET STUDENT EXPECTATIONS
The Student Academic Experience Survey is the only survey that provides essential data on key topics including contact hours, the number of assignments and student expectations of the time it takes academics to return these assignments, student wellbeing, their knowledge of access to counselling services and student perceptions on value for money.
Student Academic Experience Survey (SAES)
THRIVE IN A WORLD OF TEACHING EXCELLENCE
Over 15,000 full-time undergraduate students participate in the Student Academic Experience Survey annually. Respondents are drawn from the YouthSight student panel, which is made up of over 78,000 undergraduate students in the UK. Since its launch in 2006, it has had a significant impact on policymakers particularly as demonstrated in the 2015 higher education green paper and the 2016 higher education white paper.
In particular, the survey illustrates where universities can take action to shape and meet the expectations of students in terms of their teaching and learning experience.
The findings along with previous years’ reports can be downloaded here.
Key findings from the 2018 survey which universities should consider include:
- 38% of students in the UK perceive ‘good or very good’ value from their course. This is a three percentage point improvement over last year’s survey and reverses a five-year downward trend.
- Fewer students studying in the UK, 32%, perceive ‘poor’ or ‘very poor’ value when compared with 34% in 2017.
- In particular, there is a clear, statistically significant, improvement among students from England, representing the largest number of students, where 35% report ‘good’ or ‘very good’ value.
- There has been an improvement (though not statistically significant) among students domiciled in Scotland, where 60% of students surveyed perceive ‘good’ or ‘very good’ value, while students from Wales and EU students studying in the UK report similar perceptions of value as last year, 48% and 47% respectively. Perceptions of value in Northern Ireland remain in decline – albeit not statistically significant.
- Students at institutions which secured a Gold award in the Teaching Excellence Framework are more likely to have received good value; but there is no noticeable difference on this measure between Silver and Bronze-rated institutions.
The importance of SAES
The 2016 Survey reveals some crucial findings for policymakers as they implement the biggest higher education reforms for a generation.
Nick Hillman, Director of the Higher Education Policy Institute
Engaging in ongoing dialogue with students to share expectations so as to prepare and equip them well for the world beyond higher education - that is the key lesson from this year's survey.
Professor Stephanie Marshall, Chief Executive, The Higher Education Academy
Applicants are currently poorly-informed about the content and teaching structure of courses, as well as the job prospects they can expect. This can lead to regret: the recent Higher Education Academy (HEA)-Higher Education Policy Institute (HEPI) Student Academic Experience Survey found that over one third of undergraduates in England believe their course represents very poor or poor value for money.
Success as a Knowledge Economy: Teaching Excellence, Social Mobility and Student Choice (Government White Paper on Higher Education, May 2016, p.11)