One-third of university students unhappy with lecturers' performance

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The Independent Online

Thousands of university students still find their lecturers too remote despite pledges that standards of service would improve with the introduction of top-up fees of up to £3,225 a year.

A national survey by the Higher Education Funding Council for England showing the level of student satisfaction with their courses reveals there has been no improvement in three years.

Overall, 82 per cent are satisfied with their course – but the figure dips to 67 per cent when it comes to assessment of their work and the feedback they get from lecturers.

National Student Survey, question 22 - click HERE to launch the full table

Satisfaction has fallen over learning resources – down from 80 per cent to 79 per cent – and this area is likely to be slashed again next year as universities brace themselves for further cuts.

Aaron Porter, president of the National Union of Students, described the survey as "a wake-up call to vice-chancellors", adding: "They must buck up their ideas and do far more to improve the experience they offer to students."

David Willetts, Universities secretary, added the survey "reflects real and persistent concerns over the feedback given on students' work and I hope the sector will address that".

On cuts, Sally Hunt, the University and College Union's general secretary, added: "If the Coalition Government pushes ahead with its punitive cuts agenda we will see teachers on the dole, students in larger classes and a higher education sector unable to contribute as much to the economy or society."

Her comments were echoed by Les Ebdon, chairman of the million+ university think-tank and vice-chancellor of Bedfordshire University, who said: "Coalition ministers need to think carefully about how they expect universities to absorb cuts without damaging world-leading universities."

The figures show the privately run University of Buckingham tops the national table for student satisfaction with a 95 per cent rating.