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University of London Worldwide

Evaluating student satisfaction

The brief

In addition to its 120,000-plus London-based students, the University of London also has 50,000 students in over 180 countries worldwide studying on 100-plus degrees, diplomas and certificates by distance and flexible learning. Over 90 per cent of this global cohort of students are based outside the UK.

Shift Learning were commissioned to draw insights from the University of London’s Student Experience Survey (SES), the main feedback mechanism for the University’s global student cohort and principal means for hearing the student voice on top-level issues. The SES was administered by the University of London and sought to identify students’ motivations to study, satisfaction levels across programme elements and key areas requiring improvements. Shift Learning led on the quantitative data analysis in order to bring impartiality to the process and provide alignment with sector norms.

The approach

Using both quantitative and qualitative findings, we were able to draw deeper insights into the University of London’s global student body:

Quantitative Analysis of survey

  • We processed and analysed approximately 9,000 student responses. This included coding responses to 3 open questions. As part of the analysis we explored significant differences between 2017-18 results and the prior two editions of the SES survey.
  • We conducted a Key Driver Analysis to uncover which factors have the greatest impact on students’ overall satisfaction with programme quality. This analysis offered an opportunity for the University to identify areas of the student experience it could prioritise in its next investment cycle.

 Online focus groups

  • To provide additional rationale and insight into the quantitative findings, we conducted 3 online focus groups with a total of 15 students from a range of programmes and international regions.
  • Discussions focused on areas of low and high satisfaction, and those which had seen significant longitudinal improvements.

The value

Shift Learning provided a range of deliverables and insight to the University of London:

  • Two reports were developed – 1 detailed report including programme and course level comparisons, and 1 top-line report detailing global results developed for widespread distribution amongst key stakeholders.
  • Longitudinal significant differences were included in the reports, as well as relevant comparisons with the National Student Survey (NSS).
  • Student personas were developed to provide additional insight into factors driving satisfaction and student recommendations.
  • 32 summary datasheets were developed outlining results at programme, market and global level. These included relevant course level comparisons, as well as longitudinal comparisons from the two prior additions of the survey.
  • Four presentations were given to the Senior Leadership Team, the Academic Committee, the Deans and Directors Forum and other relevant University of London Worldwide staff.