Majority of students are satisfied with their learning experience in Australia

by Ray Clancy on March 14, 2016

in Education in Australia

Australia is a popular country for international students and now research shows that its universities score highly when it comes to teaching quality, learning resources and skills development.

The annual Student Experience National Report survey, which began in 2011, shows that 80% of students expressed satisfaction with their quality of their entire learning experience.

Over the last decade enrolments have increased almost 50% and during this time the number of students withdrawing hasn’t increased with the loss steady at 15%.

students-university

The results highlight that Australia’s education sector continues to deliver world class education to an increasing number of students from Australia and internationally, however international students who are not native English speakers may struggle more.

Indeed, students who spoke English as their main language at home were more likely than those from a non-English speaking background to be satisfied with every aspect of their educational experience. A similar pattern is observed in relation to domestic students, who were more likely than international students to be satisfied with every aspect of their educational experience.

A breakdown of the figures shows that overall student satisfaction with different aspects of their student experience ranged from 86% for learning resources, down to 60% for learner engagement.

Some 82% indicated satisfaction with teaching quality, 81% expressed satisfaction with skills development, and 72% were satisfied with student support.

Those recently enrolled at university were generally more satisfied than students in the later years of study with regards to teaching quality, student support, learning resources and the quality of their entire educational experience. Those in the later years of their studies are more satisfied with skills development and learner engagement.

Student satisfaction with the quality of their entire educational experience has remained consistently high, at around 80% across the entire survey period from 2011 to 2015 with 2011 a pilot survey in which 24 universities participated.

When comparing satisfaction in focus areas among different demographic groups of students, the largest variation observed was that external students were more dissatisfied than internal students with learner engagement at 43% and 64% respectively.

Comparison of results from the 2015 survey with those from similar surveys in the United States and the UK shows that students in Australia continue to be less satisfied with their higher education experience than their counterparts in these countries.

For example, in 2015 some 86% of US senior year students expressed satisfaction with their educational experience in comparison with 76% of Australian later year students and 85% of US first year students expressed satisfaction with their educational experience in comparison with 82% in Australian.

In the UK 86% of final year students expressed overall satisfaction with their course in comparison with 78% in Australian.

Students were also asked to indicate whether they had seriously considered leaving higher education in 2015. Overall, 18% indicated that they had considered leaving compared with 17% in 2014.

Older students, indigenous students and students with a disability were the most likely to consider early departure, as were those who reported low grades to date. The most common reasons given for considering early departure are situational in nature, including health or stress, difficulties relating to finances and workload, and study/life balance.

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