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

Drawing on findings from selected Advance HE reports and surveys, this event will offer further insights and analysis into the postgraduate experience of both taught and research areas such as race, ethnicity and religion and awarding gaps, the student experience and governance and undergraduate engagement.


In the insights team at Advance HE we amplify student voice to make higher education the best it can be and we do this by running two postgraduate student surveys:

  • Postgraduate Taught Experience Survey (PTES) allows taught postgraduate students to give feedback about learning, teaching and other aspects of their courses, informing enhancements to their experience.
  • Postgraduate Research Experience Survey (PRES) allows postgraduate research students to give feedback about their learning experience, supervision, and research environment, informing enhancements to their experience. 

This event will share findings from the surveys and highlight the areas in which students feel they need more support or ask for changes to be made.

Online interaction continues to be the norm for many Postgraduates. A growing proportion are being taught in a hybrid way but few cite face-to-face engagement as their most common method of interaction. This is a key issue in that satisfaction levels are lowest, and have fallen, among Postgraduates who interact mostly or exclusively online, particularly when not expecting that mode of delivery. Not all Postgraduates prefer in-person interaction, but it is important that everybody embarking upon a postgraduate degree programme knows what to expect, not just in terms of the availability of staff and opportunities to interact with other students, but how this interaction is likely to take place. This session will discuss how the needs of Postgraduates can be met through online, hybrid, and in-person interaction, and will consider whether the key mode of delivery/ interaction impacts on overall trends in the experience.

Knowing what to expect is of particular benefit to postgraduates who have a disclosed disability, where shifts in how teaching or support is delivered has a big impact.[1] Postgraduates with a declared disability are consistently less satisfied than those with no disability, and in the case of Postgraduate Researchers (PGRs) these levels of satisfaction have fallen this year. Although resources are generally praised, disabled PGRs do not necessarily feel the same about their access to resources, and have in some cases had to make a significant effort to obtain the facilities they need. To date there have been lower levels of coverage and research into the experiences of disabled students at Postgraduate level, and this session will focus on understanding the specific viewpoints and needs of this cohort.

[1] Exploring the impact of Covid-19 on disabled students’ experiences: in-depth qualitative report | Advance HE (

Date: 2 December 2022, 10:00 - 12:15

Location: Virtual

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Jonathan Neves

Head of Business Intelligence & Surveys
Advance HE
Jonathan joined Advance HE in 2015, bringing with him 16 years’ experience in customer insight and market research. Jonathan graduated from the University of Liverpool with a degree in Geography, and is a full member of the Market Research Society. Heading up the insights and student surveys portfolio at Advance HE, Jonathan is co-author of the Advance HE-HEPI Student Academic Experience Survey report, and is responsible for the overall strategy for the UK Engagement Survey as well as the Postgraduate Taught and Research Experience Surveys (PTES and PRES). Jonathan has also worked across the sector collaborating on the use of the UK Engagement Survey within Learning Gain pilots.

Jason Leman

Surveys Officer
Advance HE
Jason Leman, Advance HE
Jason is Surveys Executive at Advance HE, where he has worked on the development and running of the Postgraduate Taught and Research Experience Surveys (PTES and PRES) along with the UK Engagement Survey (UKES) for over a decade. Jason also has experience with a wide range of research methodologies, including literature reviews, case-study research and semi-structured interviewing.

Sean Cullen

Student Voice Commissioner, Disabled Students Commission (DSC)
Sean Cullen
Sean was appointed as a Student Voice Commissioner for the Disabled Students Commission (DSC) following on from his previous role as Disabled Students Officer at Brunel University’s Students Union.

Professor Sam Grogan

Pro Vice-Chancellor for Student Experience
University of Salford
Sam Grogan profile photo
As Pro Vice-Chancellor for Student Experience at the University of Salford, Sam holds oversight for quality and standards of the academic portfolio, executive responsibility for the Learning and Teaching Enhancement Centre within the university and executive responsibility for developing the learning philosophy underpinning the student journey.

Dr Kay Hack (PFHEA)

Lead Consultant (Learning and Teaching)
Advance HE
Dr Kay Hack
Dr Kay Hack (PFHEA) is the Principal Adviser (Learning and Teaching) for Advance-HE. Her role includes developing, managing and promoting excellence in teaching and learning, both generally and within STEM disciplines. She delivers a range of services to the HE sector, including supporting strategic leadership and change in HEIs and building and maintaining strong relationships with the STEM community, PSRBs, government and other organisations and individuals.

Isabelle Atkins

Masters Student
University of Warwick
Isabelle Atkins
Isabelle is currently undertaking a Master’s in US Foreign Policy at the University of Warwick. She graduated with a First in Politics and International Studies in 2020, having served as the first disabled Editor-in-Chief of Warwick’s award-winning student newspaper.
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Insights Event 2022 Programme