Is There a ‘Magic Link’ Between Research Activity, Professional Teaching Qualifications and Student Satisfaction?
The increasing prominence given to student satisfaction at UK Universities as a response to the introduction of fees and the growing stature of league tables has led to a desire to understand the factors that affect the quality of the student experience. Therefore, this paper examines whether students who study at universities in the UK where research is highly rated or where a high proportion of faculty are professionally qualified are more satisfied, measuring satisfaction through data from the National Student Survey. Our key results are first that students are happiest at pre-1992 universities outside the Russell group and where the amount of top-rated research is lower. Second, we uncover no link between student contentment and the percentage of faculty holding formal teaching qualifications. Our findings have important implications for university policies regarding the link between research and teaching and for the current drive to ‘professionalise’ teaching in higher education.
Keywordsnational student survey student satisfaction professional teaching qualifications teaching quality
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