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Student experience: measuring expectations and outcomes

Student experience outcomes report front coverThere is a growing public and policy interest in the experience of and outcomes for students studying at university.

Students need information so that that they can make informed choices about where to study. Universities need information to review and innovate in their teaching and learning practices. Government and the public want to be assured that the sector delivers value to students, wider society and the economy.

Overall students appear satisfied with their studies at university, with 86% of students reporting that they are satisfied with their course. However, it is important that the collection of data about the experience of students studying at university continues to evolve to meet the evolving needs and priorities of its users. 



This report aims to contribute to this discussion by exploring potential avenues for development.

It sets out the aspects of the student experience that are covered by existing sector surveys. It goes on to review the extent to which current students are satisfied with each of these individual elements. It then considers how student perspectives on these different elements may evolve. It concludes with recommendations for consideration as part of the development of the sector’s data collection.

It proposes that there is an opportunity for sector data collections to incorporate an assessment of the relative priorities and weights that students ascribe to different aspects of study.

This would involve:

  • Gathering feedback from students on the importance they attach to different elements of the university experience
  • Developing a better understanding of how the weighting and rating of these different elements may change over time, including for/from graduates

By considering these elements, data collections can enable the sector to focus on what students and graduates value the most in terms of achieving their academic, social and career goals.

The team

Emily Darian

Emily Darian

Policy Researcher
Universities UK

William Hammonds

William Hammonds

Programme Manager
Universities UK

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