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UKES 2018 Finds that Student Engagement Levels Continue to Increase

22 Nov 2018 | Advance HE Advance HE has published the UK Engagement Survey (UKES), revealing positive trends in student engagement. For the first time ‘commuter’ students have been analysed in detail in the survey, highlighting their high levels of involvement across the board. 

Over 34,000 students responded to the survey. Key findings are:

  • Nearly 8 out of 10 undergraduates feel their course engages them in critical thinking activity
  • Increasing engagement in staff-student partnerships year-on-year from 2015 to 2018, from 38% to 43% 
  • Students from low participation neighbourhoods are more likely to engage and develop their skill than other students
  • Study time and the level of involvement in sports and societies is declining;
  • Time spent on extra-curricular activities such as working for pay, volunteering or caring is increasing.

The report shows that overall student engagement levels continue to increase. The areas that have increased the most – partnering and interacting with staff - are those that have either had lowest levels in the past and/ or are linked most closely with skills development. This demonstrates real evidence that institutions are focusing resources on increasing student engagement. 

Commuter students are more likely to spend longer hours in both taught and independent study, and to take part in extra-curricular activities. Levels of engagement and skills development also tend to be higher among commuter students.
Students from low participation neighbourhoods also demonstrate high levels of participation and engagement. There is evidence that many students in this cohort display high levels of motivation and organisation. For example, 68% of this cohort have developed innovation and creativity compared to 63% of students from high participation backgrounds.

Jonathan Neves, Advance HE’s Head of Business Intelligence and Surveys, said: 

"UKES provides an excellent opportunity to assess how students are spending their time and how this is benefitting them. There is evidence from the increased levels of engagement that participating institutions are focusing resources on some of the areas that benefit students the most.”

Download the full UK Engagement Survey (UKES) 2019


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