Is There a Magic Link between Research Activity, Professional Teaching Qualifications and Student Satisfaction?
32 Pages Posted: 9 Jan 2016 Last revised: 6 Jun 2016
Date Written: June 2016
This paper examines the key drivers of the satisfaction of UK students, as measured by the National Student Survey, using the entire database of students who completed it in 2014. We employ a wide range of factors that may potentially affect contentment, including both university-wide variables that capture the reputation of the university and the quality of its research, and school-specific measures incorporating the demographic and ethnic profiles of the teaching staff. We find overall that students are happiest when taught by staff with the following characteristics: white, full professors, holding doctorates, and on fixed-term contracts - although there is no link between satisfaction and the gender mix of the teaching faculty, or with the contractual designation of the staff as teaching intensive or teaching and research. In terms of the broader characteristics of the institutions as a whole, when we allow for a range of factors simultaneously, students are happiest at pre-1992 universities outside the Russell group with high degree course completion rates and where the amount of top-rated research is lower. We find no link between student contentment and the percentage of faculty holding formal teaching qualifications.
Keywords: National Student Survey, student satisfaction, professional teaching qualifications, teaching quality
JEL Classification: C52, I21, I23
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation