Student satisfaction is key for the success of your university. Students have thousands of universities and colleges to choose from and will judge each institution according to the experience it can provide them. Delivering student satisfaction, therefore, should be a priority to ensure that you attract the best talent. Attracting such talent improves your university’s prospects in the league tables, as talented students are more likely to perform better in exams and after graduation (metrics that influence league table results). Let’s examine the top factors that affect student satisfaction.
The overall college experience significantly impacts student satisfaction
As defined in a report commissioned for the National Symposium on Postsecondary Student Success, overall college experience can be defined as how students engage with their university and the conditions of the university itself. The way students relate to their peers and teachers, how they approach their studies and their involvement in university activities is controlled by students; however, when choosing where to study, they will judge an institution based on whether they will be able to fulfil their needs in these areas. University conditions include educational policies; technological advancement of resources such as libraries, laboratories and lecture halls; accommodation and extra-curricular options. Research conducted by TATI University College, published in the Indian Journal of Science and Technology, found that classroom environment, college facilities, course structure and method of grading are also factors that affect student satisfaction.
A university with an acclaimed reputation bolsters student satisfaction
What comes first, student satisfaction or a university’s reputation? For a university’s reputation to grow, it needs to attract talented students. But how does it attract talented students if it hasn’t yet established a prestigious reputation? For high-performing students with ambitions to succeed academically and professionally, attending a college or university with a solid reputation is important for their chances of getting their dream job. It also ensures that they’ll receive the high-quality tutelage that matches their desire to perform. If your university’s reputation is still growing, you need to communicate to students that their academic and professional needs will be met.
Does your university provide an attractive return on investment?
Return on investment is another key factor affecting student satisfaction. If a prospective student doesn’t feel that their investment of time and money will be rewarded with a great college experience, enhanced career prospects and superior facilities, they will look to other universities. But if your institution can provide value-add propositions over and above a solid academic offering (such as opportunities to study abroad, industry partnerships, work placements and employability training), the perceived return on investment will be heightened.
Students no longer go to university solely to acquire an academic qualification, but to improve their career prospects and work-readiness
Nowadays, students go to university to better their employment prospects—especially given the competitive nature of the job market. They will choose a university that they believe will help them progress in their careers, based on its reputation and the services and support it can provide. Their satisfaction levels will directly relate to whether they feel their chances of forging a strong career are increased by attending your institution. Can you demonstrate that your university has improved the employability of past students?
As a faculty head, your main priority is to ensure that students excel at their chosen degrees. However, you can still provide students with the training they need to become employable and plan successful careers by offering a career skills programme.
Curriculo’s Industry Engagement Programme (IEP) has been designed by industry leaders to equip students with the skills and attributes they need in order to become attractive work candidates to employers. If you’re interested in other ways to promote employability skills in soon-to-be graduates, download the guide.