Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Students ‘Demanding More From Academics’

UGA students at ASAP conference
UGA students (Auburn Alumni Association)
by Schools Improvement Net: http://schoolsimprovement.net/students-demanding-more-from-academics/

Demanding students are behind a high volume of complaints against universities, a standards watchdog has claimed. This is from the Times

Anthony McClaren, chief executive of the Quality Assurance Agency which polices standards in higher education, said that tutors were having to keep pace with the higher expectations of today’s students.

Overall, 15 per cent of students said they were dissatisfied with their studies but, when asked about assessment and feedback, this leapt to 28 per cent.

Research commissioned by the QAA suggests that students are most concerned about the quality of the feedback they get from academics, rather than waiting while work is marked.

Mr McLaren said: “What we may well be seeing is increased expectation and therefore the challenge is to meet that increased expectation.

“You can point to many areas of life where there is a greater personalisation and a much greater expectation around that, so meeting those expectations becomes increasingly challenging. Even with improvements you need to be moving even further forward to keep up with the expectations of student.”

Mr McClaren said that undergraduate surveys showed an improvement in academic feedback at universities, with 72 per cent of students saying they were satisfied with course assessments.

However, the picture varies sharply between universities and QAA reviews have criticised student feedback at Edinburgh, University College London, Imperial, Bristol and King’s College London. 

With students now carrying the burden of financing their university educations is it inevitable that they will demand much more from universities than has been the case in the past? What kinds of steps can universities take to ensure expectations are better met? Please share in the comments or on twitter …
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