THE ConsultancyIntroducing student experience tracker surveys

Introducing student experience tracker surveys


A new series of surveys will ask students about their opinions on important topics affecting the higher education sector

The THE Global Student Research Panel is Times Higher Education’s global panel of prospective international students, offering a unique opportunity to understand the views and opinions that shape the choices and actions of students. To harness the power of the panel, THE has designed three monthly tracker surveys to gain an insight into students’ opinions on prominent topics within the sector and how these change over time.  

The student experience tracker survey is the first of the three surveys. It aims to understand students’ experiences of online teaching as well as the employment skills and careers advice they wish to gain during their time at university.  

Findings from the first student experience tracker survey   

Overall, the prospect of a university delivering a course online was not popular, with 86 per cent of students stating that they would feel positive about their future studies being delivered entirely in person, compared with 21 per cent of students who would feel positive about it being delivered entirely online. This extended to students potentially taking advantage of new ways to study: just 1 in 8 prospective students would find it very appealing to study online at an international university while remaining in their home country, with 13 per cent rating its appeal at 9 or 10 out of 10.

Students whose studies had been delivered online felt that the disadvantages of online learning ranged from its impact on educational experiences and outcomes to the social aspects of their university experience. Students considered the biggest disadvantage of online learning to be that their ability to concentrate was lower than if it had been delivered in person, with 17 per cent of respondents feeling this way.

What has been the biggest disadvantage of online learning? 

Students did note advantages to online learning, with the biggest advantages centring around the flexibility it provided. The ability to study anywhere in the world was cited as the biggest advantage by 21 per cent of students.  

What has been the biggest advantage to online learning? 

Students were also asked about the employment skills they wished to gain during their studies. They prioritised internships, with 92 per cent of students and prospective students reporting that internships were either a very or fairly important part of their university experience, ahead of other aspects such as physical spaces to socialise on campus (84 per cent), sport and recreation facilities on campus (81 per cent) and the size of the student body (62 per cent). 

How important are the following aspects of a university in terms of your overall experience?  

When asked what career support would be the most useful, 22 per cent of students voted for support in securing an internship and 19 per cent voted for opportunities to gain transferable skills, rather than, for example, the 3 per cent who wanted help finding a suitable career. 

What sorts of careers advice would be most useful to receive during your studies? 

In total, 550 students responded to the survey, with the following demographics represented:  


Over the coming months, we will be using THE Student Pulse and our new tracker surveys to provide insights into the motivations, desires and thoughts of students and prospective students around the globe and will be publishing more blogs to showcase our findings during this period.

Contact the THE Consultancy team for more information about how it provides strategic, data-driven guidance to universities and governments globally.

Brought to you by