Fantastic results in the latest survey of Taught Postgraduates!

November 2015

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(NOTE: This is an archived press release.)

The independent experience survey of Taught Postgraduates at Writtle College shows that overall satisfaction is 87% - above the sector average.

The survey, conducted by the Higher Education Academy, shows overall satisfaction for the sector is 82%.

Comparing Writtle to the sector benchmark, the most positively scored statements were:

• My ability to communicate information effectively to diverse audiences has developed during my course (89%)

• I was given appropriate guidance and support when I started my course (89%)

• The workload on my course has been manageable (85%)

Relative to the sector benchmarking group, skills development was the most positive area, with a score 9.7% higher than this benchmark.

Agriculture and related subjects had the most positive results at Writtle in comparison to the sector group. Within this subject, Writtle had an aggregate score 2.3% higher than the sector benchmark.

However, the College will be focusing on its postgraduate resources, as a result of student feedback and after the survey showed that satisfaction in this area was 18.9% lower than the sector average. This will include reviewing its Library opening times with a view to giving students greater access, especially during the dissertation period, and determining whether the computer network can be upgraded to ensure faster connectivity.

Dr Anya Perera, Head of the School of Sustainable Environments and Design, said: “We are very pleased at our overall results in the latest postgraduate experience survey and that several schemes have achieved 100% satisfaction scores.

“The results reflect the strategic emphasis we place on skills development and preparing postgraduate students for their future careers. Students have direct contact with lecturers who are active in their sectors or industries. The significant research and consultancy interests of our academic staff mean they can bring real life projects and case studies into their teaching.

“Students network with professionals and understand the need to advance their discipline-specific skills and those valued by graduate employers, seizing opportunities to gain valuable experience of leadership and project management, where possible, to progress their career aspirations.”

Launched in 2009, the HEA's annual Postgraduate Taught Experience Survey (PTES) is the only sector-wide survey to gain insight from taught postgraduate students about their learning and teaching experience.

PTES enables organisations to gather information about the experience of any taught postgraduate student on a Masters, Postgraduate Certificate or Diploma course.

The survey focuses on students’ experiences regarding:

• teaching and learning

• engagement

• assessment and feedback

• organisation and management

• resources and services

• skills development

It also considers students’ motivations for taking their programme and – where relevant – their experience of undertaking a dissertation or major project.

• Simultaneously, Writtle College has been included in a Guild HE report celebrating the diversity of the UK’s Higher Education.

The report shows the diversity in the sector while universities share “a single fundamental purpose: to deliver high-quality, world-leading higher education.”

Dr Peter Hobson’s work for the Centre for Econics and Ecosystem Management is cited as a case study. The Centre is the result of six years of international collaborative research and sector-based consultancy between Dr Hobson, Principal Lecturer, and Professor Pierre Ibisch, of Eberswalde University for Sustainable Development, Germany.

The Centre has recently published a Management Plan for 1.6 million hectares of Altai mountain landscape - a transboundary biosphere reserve in the across the Russian and Kazakhstan border - to safeguard the cultural heritage of local tribal communities and the last few remaining populations of snow leopard, lynx, bear, mountain sheep and Ibex.

o Read the Guild HE report here: http://www.guildhe.ac.uk/wp-content/uploads/2015/07/Excellence-in-diversity-Full-report-2-July-20151.pdf

o Read more about the Altai mountain Management Plan here: http://www.writtle.ac.uk/pge_PressRelease.cfm?ID=1268