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Next steps for the postgraduate student survey

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Since 2019, the @OfficeStudents has been testing a new survey questionnaire specifically designed to capture the views of students on postgraduate taught courses – including questions about their academic experience, perceptions of value for money, and the provision of mental health and support services.

Initial results of that work indicate that:

  • students are keen to share their views with us about their course experience
  • while the set of questions is broadly appropriate for students, further refinement is needed to improve its relevance to all groups of students
  • distance learners and part-time students found some questions less relevant to their course experience
  • the universities and colleges that took part in the survey were supportive of running the survey
  • conducting a regular postgraduate survey in the future would be feasible, although the timing of the survey would need careful consideration.

Our next steps will be to understand whether and how we can refine the survey questionnaire to increase its relevance for all students. As part of this we will be running workshops with provider and student representatives, in parallel with the wider NSS review.

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Further information about our work in this area will be made available towards the end of summer 2021.

See our updated webpages about our work in this area

  1. The OfS aims to ensure that all students in England have a fulfilling experience of higher education that enriches their lives and careers, and so is keen to understand the views and experiences of all student including postgraduates. We have been researching how direct feedback from PGT students might provide information that:
  • contributes to the public accountability of higher education
  • help us fulfil our regulatory duties under the Higher Education and Research Act 2017
  • support higher education providers in improving the student experience.
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