Ringing endorsement for staff in annual @HEPI_news & @AdvanceHE student survey
Universities should spend money on teaching facilities, student support and teaching staff, according to survey of over 10,000 students released today (Thursday).
The annual Student Academic Experience Survey (SAES) from Advance HE and the Higher Education Policy Institute (Hepi) also found that students thought teaching quality, course content and resources provided the best value for money of their university experience.
The findings come despite 22 strike days during the last academic year. The report suggests that despite the industrial action, students’ support for staff may be because the strikes brought into focus the plight of university staff*. The University and College Union (UCU) said the findings highlighted how students saw their learning conditions linked to staff working condition
UCU general secretary Jo Grady said:
‘It is clear that students value the teaching and support they receive and want to see universities focus resources on staff. Sadly, universities don’t seem to be getting the message and have already started cutting jobs. The uncertainty brought about by the pandemic risks having huge repercussions for universities, students, staff and the local economies that depend on higher education.
‘Universities need to listen to students who say that staff should be the top priority for investment, and the government needs to provide urgent funding guarantees to remove the uncertainty that higher education currently faces.’
* “Comparing 2019 to 2020, there are some noteworthy differences in priority. Although the overall ranking has changed little, all the staff measures (teaching staff, research staff, management staff) have increased significantly. The early part of 2020 has been a year when university staff have been in the spotlight during a period of significant industrial action, and we may speculate here that although students have felt the impact in terms of contact hours lost, the action may also have made students more aware of the role of staff across institutions.”