STUDENT SATISFACTION SURVEY HIGHLIGHTS HOW IT MEASURES UP

Issue date: 13 August 2003


ISSUE DATE: 11/08/03

Selecting a University and an appropriate degree course is an important decision and getting as much information as possible is critical. The summer holidays are a key time for deciding on your choice of University – whether for those choosing courses for September 2004 or last minute clearing for this September.

Prospective students need to think about what is really important and consider just what is on offer. The findings from The University of the West of England, (UWE), student satisfaction survey are released today, 11th August 2003.

Final-year students were surveyed on a range of factors including computer services, library resources, transport, accommodation and bars and catering facilities - not just the course and the quality of tuition. The survey aims to paint a holistic picture of the most important factors to students and establish a benchmark to help shape ongoing University investment.

The research findings suggest that prospective students need to take a good look, not only at the course and tuition on offer – but also the support services that will assist their studies. Over 95% of UWE students rated placements, computer services, the library as important – with the quality of tuition and the course itself gaining important status by 99% and 98% of students respectively.

mruk, a leading independent market research company, carried out the survey at UWE as part of the University’s drive for continuous improvement.

Keith Hicks, Head of Marketing & Communication at UWE said; “mruk has strong credentials in this area of research. Their analysis of this latest phase of quantitative research continues to provide us with a real picture of the key issues as they are perceived by our students and this information will be used to help us enhance the quality of service we provide for students. The results demonstrate that 9 out of 10 UWE students are satisfied with the quality of course and tuition we provide. And satisfaction rates are rising for those doing placements (up 2% to 88%) and using the library facilities (up 5% to 89%).

“The survey is important to us because it measures how sensitive we are as a university in responding to the issue that our students regard as important. If we are going to really add value to student’s lives then we need to manage and monitor what we’re doing and what students want from us. That’s why we’re committed to this research programme as part of our drive to ensure we continue to develop our University experience with relevant courses and as a result confident, useful, capable graduates.”

Craig Taylor, director of mruk said; “These findings demonstrate that there is a whole host of factors that are important to students – it’s not just the course and the quality of tuition that matters. This research will provide invaluable information to UWE, helping them enhance their student services. In addition it will also inform future development with decisions being taken that truly reflect student needs.”

The survey, carried out in late 2002, took the form of anonymous, quantitative self-completion questionnaires. This phase of the research builds on previous research carried out during the last three years and is the final phase of the programme that was designed to ascertain student views and inform the University’s investment strategy.

Ends

Issued on behalf of mruk and the UWE by hatch-group. For further information please contact Nicky Hawkins (0131 220 1188 or 07733 124 052) or Scott Somerville (0141 333 6440 or 07798 527 787).

Notes to Editors:

A summary of the survey’s key findings is available by contacting keith.hicks@uwe.ac.uk .
The University of the West of England, Bristol (UWE) is one of Britain's most popular universities with more than 23,000 students and a 1,000-strong academic staff.
The University has four campuses in and around the city of Bristol encompassing 9 faculties and teaching some 300 degree programmes across a wide range of disciplines. In addition, there is an Associate Faculty in Gloucestershire and regional centres in Bath, Gloucestershire and Swindon. Close links with industry and the professions ensure that courses are relevant and innovative - ahead of the field.
mruk was originally established in 1983 as Market Research Scotland Ltd. To reflect the company’s increasingly diverse and disparate client base and broad-spread office network it re-branded in 2003. mruk is listed in the top 30 UK research companies by turnover.
mruk provides a wide range of services including ad hoc and continuous quantitative and qualitative research, with particular expertise in social research, communications, customer satisfaction, new product/service development, usage and attitudes, evaluation, benchmarking and best value.
There are currently 60 staff, including over 20 research specialists, based at offices in Glasgow, Belfast, Cardiff, Dublin, Newcastle, Manchester, London, Bristol and Winchester. In addition, the company manages a network of over 1,300 trained fieldworkers and group recruiters.
mruk is a member of the independently audited Interview Quality Control Scheme (IQCS) and they are registered under the Data Protection Act.

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