What we have learnt


How do students use their time?

Students in the national 2011 CSSE sample reported spending 8,2 hours per week preparing for class and 8,4 hours travelling to and from classes; almost the same amount of time that is spent preparing for class.

How do students and staff interact?

Generally, students do not interact with staff on a regular basis. The majority (58%) of students reported that they have never worked with lecturers on activities other than their studies. Furthermore, an overwhelming majority (83%) of students reported that they have never communicated with a lecturer using an electronic medium, and a quarter of students reported that they have never spoken to a lecturer or counsellor regarding their career plans.

Are diverse interactions taking place?

Only 30% of the 2011 CSSE sample reported often having serious conversations with students from different ethnic groups, whilst 39% reported often having serious conversations with students very different from themselves in terms of religious beliefs, political opinions, and personal values.

Overall, 54% of students indicated that their college placed adequate emphasis on encouraging contact between students of different economic, social, and ethnic backgrounds.

How well supported do students feel?

Almost three quarters (72%) of students reported that their colleges placed very little or some focus on providing them with the academic support they need to help them succeed at their colleges.

How satisfied are students with their educational experience?

The majority of students reported that their entire educational experience at their colleges had been positive, 76% of the students rated their educational experience as good and excellent.  Overall, 66% of the students in the 2011 CSSE sample reported that they would recommend their colleges to other people.

How do lecturers and students see each other?

Student engagement measures can help to compare staff and student responses and facilitate conversations about how staff and students see each other. For example, almost two thirds (63%) of students reported that they regularly worked harder than they thought they could to achieve the expectations of the lecturer. However, less than a third (31%) of the lecturers agreed on this point. Furthermore, an overwhelming majority (80%) of students reported that their assessment tasks motivated them to do their best work. In contrast to this, only 33% of lecturers held this opinion.