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UCU Scotland response to national student survey

6 August 2009

UCU Scotland today said that it welcomed a survey from the Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE) that reveals the majority of Scottish students are happy with quality of teaching they receive at university.

However, the union expressed concerns that student debt and the prohibitive costs of study remain the biggest worry for students and warned that cuts across higher education meant there would be fewer staff to teach students and maintain standards.

HEFCE's survey comes as a record number of Scottish pupils gained higher and advanced higher pass marks which combined with a 6% increase in applications will lead to an increase in student numbers.

Key points from the survey for Scotland:

  • 86% of students said they were satisfied with the quality of the teaching they received at university
  • 77% of students said they got the necessary academic support – up 1% on the previous year
  • 81% of students said they were happy with their personal development
  • 86% of Scottish students reported overall satisfaction compared to 81% for the rest of the UK.

UCU Scotland assistant general secretary, David Bleiman, said: 'We are pleased that the vast majority of Scottish students rate the teaching they receive the best in the UK. Students deserve to have the best possible experience at university. However, this is being put at risk by cuts to courses in Scotland and the pressure students face in having to work outside of teaching hours just to make ends meet. This isn't fair on staff or students.

'Cuts to teaching budgets and worsening student bursaries are going to make it much harder to sustain the current levels of satisfaction. Hence the Scottish Government should spend the extra £30 million it is allocating for student support on bursaries and redouble its efforts to find extra funding for universities.

'With no extra funded places we call on the SFC to relax its policy on penalties for those universities that over recruit this year.'

The full survey is available from the HEFCE website

Last updated: 11 December 2015