Over the past two years, students have become less satisfied with their study programmes at the UG. The results were to be expected, due to the pandemic, but it turns out UG students are also less satisfied than students at other universities.
These are the results from the 2021 National Student Survey. This survey, administered by the Studiekeuze123 foundation, serves as a source for the annual rankings of various Dutch study programmes.
Students’ general satisfaction has dropped from a little over a 4 to a 3.8. That’s still a good grade, albeit significantly lower than two years ago. It’s also lower than the average grade other universities received, which means the UG could end up lower in the rankings.
In the categories of general skills, lecturer involvement, and staff expertise, the UG actually scored above average: a 3.85, 3.83, and 4.33, respectively. ‘It’s a great compliment to our lecturers’, said rector magnificus Cisca Wijmenga on Thursday during a university council meeting with the research and education committee.
Wijmenga isn’t surprised that the general rate of satisfaction has declined since the 2019 survey – the 2020 survey was cancelled due to the pandemic. ‘The corona pandemic impacted the scores’, she says. The fact that the international programmes scored lower was to be expected: the pandemic restrictions often meant exchanges had to be cancelled.
The UG also scored significantly lower than other universities when it came to testing and evaluation. The questions concerned the way exams matched the material discussed in class, or how clear the criteria were.
‘We thought we’d solved this issue, even though there was a pandemic to contend with. But it turns out there’s a difference in perception in how we think things are going and how students feel it is.’
Students also aren’t very satisfied with the way their programmes prepare them for the labour market. ‘That’s not new’, said Wijmenga. Students have been complaining about this for years. ‘The university doesn’t provide vocational training’, said the rector. ‘We provide people with general skills that they can use in a variety of ways.’
Apparently, though, students don’t have a good overview of their capabilities. ‘It’s important that they do’, Wijmenga admitted. ‘Perhaps we’re missing something. Or maybe the capabilities are there, but students don’t see them.’