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Improved student satisfaction built on goodwill of staff, union warns

13 June 2019

UCU has said that improvements in student satisfaction are built on the goodwill of staff, and action on workload and job security is needed to ensure that the student expectations are met in the future.

The union was responding to the findings of the annual Student Academic Experience Survey, published by the Higher Education Policy Institute and Advance HE, which showed that students' satisfaction with teaching and feedback had improved between 2018 and 2019.

UCU said it welcomed the fact that students were more satisfied overall, but warned that increasing job insecurity and work overload threatened the student experience and called on institutions to listen to students and make staff their top priority for investment.

Students indicated in the survey that they wanted to see their tuition fees spent on teaching and support staff, with teaching facilities (60%), student support services (58%) and teaching staff (51%) identified as key priorities for investment.

UCU acting general secretary, Paul Cottrell, said: 'It's encouraging that students are increasingly happy with the quality of teaching and feedback, but too often these improvements are built on the goodwill of staff. Increasing job insecurity and work overload are a threat to the student experience and urgent action is needed to address these issues. Institutions need to listen to students who say that teaching and support staff should be the top priority for investment.'

Last updated: 21 June 2019