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Positive post-pandemic recovery for postgraduate taught students

30 Nov 2022 | Advance HE Advance HE publishes the 2022 report of the Postgraduate Taught Experience Survey.

Postgraduate taught students have reported that most areas of the student experience that witnessed a significant fall during the Covid-19 pandemic have broadly recovered, with overall satisfaction at 82%, according to the largest survey of the taught postgraduate student voice since 2018. 

Nearly 80,000 taught postgraduate students from across 91 higher education institutions took part in Advance HE’s Postgraduate Taught Experience Survey (PTES) 2022. The survey allows taught postgraduate students to give feedback about learning, teaching and other aspects of their courses, informing enhancement across the sector.  

The taught postgraduate experience for students from the UK and EU has had a downward trend since 2016, particularly in perceptions of course organisation and engagement with their course, but overall in 2022 82% of postgraduate taught students (PGTs) agreed they were satisfied with their course, in-line with pre-pandemic levels of student satisfaction.  

Perceptions of access to resources, most severely impacted by lockdown, recovered to pre-pandemic levels with an average of 88.1% of students satisfied with access to library, IT and subject-specific resources. 

However, just under a quarter (22.6%) of PGTs stated they had received teaching mostly or completely online in 2022, despite expecting in-person teaching, and this cohort continued to experience issues with the use of technology and reduced contact with peers and staff. 

Distance learners were significantly less likely to agree that they were receiving support for their health and wellbeing with more than 1 in 10 (11.2%) disagreeing that the support met their needs in 2022. Some students said they experienced loneliness and isolation if the course did not provide opportunities to forge meaningful connections with peers and staff. 

Jason Leman, Surveys Executive at Advance HE and author of the report, said, 

“The shock of the pandemic and lockdown severely impacted the experiences of many postgraduate taught students. 2022 has witnessed a welcome recovery to near pre-pandemic levels of satisfaction and a clear improvement in the experience of taught postgraduates. 

“However, the results also show a sector still facing challenges, whether in delivering distance or blended learning, continued industrial disputes, or the expansion of taught postgraduate provision.  

“More students than ever will enter taught postgraduate courses, with diverse needs, expectations and engagement. The skills, experience and resources that teaching and professional services staff can bring to the taught postgraduate student experience will be critical and the voices and reflections of taught postgraduates will let the sector know whether the direction it is moving in is a successful one.” 

Download Advance HE’s Postgraduate Taught Experience Survey (PTES) 2022 here

Insights: Findings from Advance HE Surveys: Delivering an experience that meets expectations, and a high-quality experience for all on 2 December 

This event will share findings from the 2022 Postgraduate Research Experience Survey (PRES) and Postgraduate Taught Experience Survey (PTES) and highlight the areas in which students feel they need more support or ask for changes to be made. Find out more and book your place  

The Disabled Student Commitment

A consultation by the Disabled Students’ Commission is now open to ensure that disabled students in UK higher education get a better deal through the Disabled Student Commitment. Find out more and have your say  

We feel it is important for voices to be heard to stimulate debate and share good practice. Blogs on our website are the views of the author and don’t necessarily represent those of Advance HE.

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