From education to employment

Survey Shows Colleges Getting Things Right According to Lecturers” Union

The University and College Union (UCU) have welcomed the latest findings of a survey carried out amongst Further Education students. The National Learner Satisfaction Survey (NLSS) for 2004/5 found that nine out of ten FE students surveyed were satisfied with their learning experience.

The survey revealed that 90% of students fell into the categories “extremely”, “fairly” or “very” satisfied with their courses and support. There were also 93% of those receiving FE delivered by adult learning providers and 94% of those taking non-accredited adult and community courses who also fell into these categories. The survey has recorded the best performance in the last four years, since the Learning and Skills Council (LSC) have been monitoring the reaction of students to the learning experiences provided at FE level.

Teaching and Support

There was also more good news as more participants than ever before reported that they were satisfied with the teaching and support they were receiving. Ina further burst of the positive side of FE, there was even a significant percentage, 27%, who admitted to being “extremely” satisfied with their FE experience.

The survey went on to reveal that there was a consensus that the whole system had made marked improvements since 2003/4, with much of the praise being given to the lecturers and to the quality of teaching resources. There was also recognition for improvements in the teaching standards within the adult and community learning sector, gaining high praise for the quality and planning of lessons.

UCU Happy

The Head of Colleges at the UCU, Barry Lovejoy, was overjoyed at the findings, saying: “UCU’s 43,000 members in further education and adult learning are clearly doing their jobs very well and as such, should be properly rewarded. We are currently balloting on an improved pay offer for further education teachers for 2006/7 but we also call on the 57% of colleges who have failed to implement a previous very significant pay deal to take note of these impressive results.”

In the current climate of seemingly endless bad news on the education front, it is refreshing to find one sector that is making progress and delivering what its “customers” want. The fact that this survey reflects the opinions of those within the FE system, rather than the usual measuring of success by obscure Government targets, really inspires a sense of optimism and a belief that at least part of the education system is moving in the right direction.

Dan Atkinson

Stay here for the Monkey’s word on FE with From the FE Trenches!

Related Articles