Do it yourself 1

January 21, 2010

While the Times Higher Education Student Experience Survey results always exert a certain morbid fascination for many of us, this sadly deflects us from the real issue, which is how we can improve the student experience ("It's all about them", 14 January).

Rather than focus on their place in the league tables, would it not be better for institutions to identify areas of weakness with the aid of internal surveys, and allocate appropriate resources to improve them?

Experience at many (mainly post-1992) universities shows that where strategic action has been taken on particular items of concern as a result of listening to students via institutional satisfaction surveys, satisfaction with those items has generally increased. This is particularly noticeable in areas such as library provision, assessment and feedback, which are routinely rated among the most important items by respondents.

James Williams, Birmingham City University.

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