University rescued from 'undue criticism of itself'

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LIVERPOOL John Moores University supplied documentation which showed 'unexpectedly high levels of student dissatisfaction with their overall experience'.

The assessors took a more positive view. They found that although there were specific criticisms, there was no general dissatisfaction. In this case, the inspection rescued the university from being unduly critical of itself.

Though the university welcomed student feedback, many senior staff were ignorant about student representation in policy-making. Students felt intimidated by the overwhelming staff presence on boards of studies.

Students lacked confidence or sufficient information to make a substantial contribution. They frequently received no feedback on action resulting from their completed questionnaires.

The university said the report was available to all staff. It added that the students' experience was better than at other universities; the university organised regular student feedback and it served students' needs first.

The inspectors were told that all senior staff were required to identify areas for quality improvement, which they thought was commendable. But they were surprised to find that '. . . very few of the staff knew anything at all about the project'.