Postgraduate researchers ‘happy with university experience’

Four out of five postgraduate research students are happy with their university experience, a new study has suggested.

September 4, 2013

Some 82 per cent of students polled in this year’s Higher Education Academy Postgraduate Research Experience Survey, published on 4 September, said they were satisfied overall with their time on their course.

A record 48,401 students at 122 higher education institutions responded to the 2013 survey – an increase of 56 per cent on the 31,102 who participated last year – representing 42 per cent of all postgraduate research students.

Eighty-four per cent of students agreed with positive statements on their experience of supervision, while 85 per cent said they were happy with the research skills they learned.

Almost three-quarters (73 per cent) agreed their department provides a good seminar programme, but only 58 per cent said they had opportunities to become involved in the wider research community beyond their department.

However, only 60 per cent of respondents agreed that their institution values and responds to feedback from research students.

Just over half of students (52 per cent) had taught or demonstrated at their institution during their research degree programme, rising to 61 per cent in science, technology, engineering and maths subjects.

Of those who had experienced teaching or demonstrating, 62 per cent received formal training and 57 per cent felt they had received appropriate support and guidance for teaching.

Stephanie Marshall, chief executive of the HEA, said the survey had been revamped this year to “provide the most comprehensive picture of the postgraduate research experience available”.

Institutional-level results would not be released to students or potential students, but could be used by universities to compare themselves against similar institutions to highlight possible areas of improvement, Professor Marshall added.

“As the sector becomes increasingly focused on the needs of postgraduate students, Pres - and the HEA’s Postgraduate Taught Experience Survey, PTES - provide vital information that helps higher education institutions to enhance their provision,” she said.

You've reached your article limit

Register to continue

Registration is free and only takes a moment. Once registered you can read a total of 6 articles each month, plus:

  • Sign up for the editor's highlights
  • Receive World University Rankings news first
  • Get job alerts, shortlist jobs and save job searches
  • Participate in reader discussions and post comments

Have your say

Log in or register to post comments

Most Commented

question marks PhD study

Selecting the right doctorate is crucial for success. Robert MacIntosh and Kevin O'Gorman share top 10 tips on how to pick a PhD

Pencil lying on open diary

Requesting a log of daily activity means that trust between the institution and the scholar has broken down, says Toby Miller

India, UK, flag

Sir Keith Burnett reflects on what he learned about international students while in India with the UK prime minister

Application for graduate job
Universities producing the most employable graduates have been ranked by companies around the world in the Global University Employability Ranking 2016
Construction workers erecting barriers

Directly linking non-EU recruitment to award levels in teaching assessment has also been under consideration, sources suggest