More than one in four Australian university students want better support or higher quality learning materials according to the latest national snapshot of student experiences.
Minister for Education and Training Simon Birmingham said the 2015 Student Experiences Survey should help focus efforts so more students are supported to finish their course.
Minister Birmingham said that while the data highlighted that overwhelmingly students had a positive experience at university even with an increased number of students in the system, it also demonstrated there were improvements needed in the flexibility that universities offer.
“We want to ensure our universities are delivering the world-class education that students want so they can produce well-rounded graduates that are prepared to embrace the jobs of the 21st Century,” Minister Birmingham said.
“While this survey highlights there have been improvements in the experiences of students in many areas, it also shows there is still work to be done to address the cause of attrition rates of around 15 per cent across the sector.
“Universities must take responsibility for those students they choose to enrol and ensure they have the capabilities and support to succeed.
Minister Birmingham said the Survey also revealed that students considered abandoning their studies for a variety of reasons, including wanting a better study / life balance (29 per cent), boredom or expectations not being met (both 22 per cent) or the career prospects on offer from their degree (20 per cent).
“Students are citing a range of reasons for thinking about leaving higher education, reasons that universities can help address.
“Statistics like these are why I have asked the Higher Education Standards Panel to ensure Australian students are ‘uni-ready’ by providing greater transparency around what support is available and what will be expected of them through their studies.
“Students should also keep in mind that different courses offer the prospect of very different employment outcomes. Information is readily available online to help people decide what and where to study, including Gradstats 2015, the Quality Indicators for Learning and Teaching website and myskills.gov.au.
“On top of the work the Turnbull Government and the Higher Education Standards Panel are doing to improve student experiences, the variety of results between institutions suggests there are lessons universities could learn from one another.”
Other key findings included that the highest satisfaction courses were rehabilitation (physiotherapy and occupational therapy), science and mathematics and agriculture and environmental studies.
The 2015 Student Experience Survey National Report can be downloaded from www.qilt.edu.au
Information from the 2015 Student Experience Survey, once results are calculated at the institution by study area level, will be published on the Quality Indicators for Learning and Teaching (QILT) website, at www.qilt.edu.au