Gain unique and essential insights into the student academic experience
SAES has been designed and developed in partnership with the Higher Education Policy Institute (HEPI) and with interviews conducted independently by YouthSight. The survey:
- Helps you better understand student expectations, perceptions and their experience of learning and teaching
- Provides key facts and insights to help you improve the student academic experience
- Plays a key role in influencing policy at a national level
What is SAES?
Pinpoint how you can shape and meet student expectations
The Student Academic Experience Survey, run in partnership with HEPI, is the only survey that provides essential data on key topics including contact hours, the number of assignments and student expectations of the time it takes academics to return these assignments, student wellbeing, their knowledge of access to counselling services and student perceptions on value for money.
Why participate in SAES?
Thrive in a world of teaching excellence
Over 15,000 full-time undergraduate students participate in the Student Academic Experience Survey annually. Respondents are drawn from the YouthSight student panel, which is made up of over 78,000 undergraduate students in the UK. Since its launch in 2006, it has had a significant impact on policymakers particularly as demonstrated in the 2015 higher education green paper and the 2016 higher education white paper.
In particular, the survey illustrates where universities can take action to shape and meet the expectations of students in terms of their teaching and learning experience.
Our Survey takes place at the same time each year among a directly comparable undergraduate sample, enabling us to measure genuine like-for-like changes. This year’s results highlight encouraging signs of recovery from the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on the student academic experience. Other key findings include:
- 35% of respondents reported ‘good’ or ‘very good’ value for money; a significant improvement from 27% last year
- 32% reported ‘poor’ or ‘very poor’ value, against 44% in 2021
- a clear upturn in perceptions of positive value held by students from England (24% in 2021 to 35% in 2022) and Wales (29% in 2021 to 40% in 2022)
- perceptions of value among Scottish students have declined (50% in 2021 to 48% in 2022); Northern Ireland students view their experience the lowest value – 28% – though this is a slight improvement from 2021 at 27%
- mental health remains a very significant concern and is by a considerable margin the most common reason students give if they are considering leaving university (34% cited mental health, the next most cited reason was, ‘course content not what I expected’, 8%)
The findings along with previous years’ reports can be downloaded here.
Working with the Insights team
Advance HE’s Insights team is made up of experienced mixed-method researchers and experts in implementing surveys and other techniques for data collection. Our expert team can provide, qualitative, quantitative or mixed-methods offers, underpinned by sector-wide datasets from our student surveys and our sector leading higher education statistical reports. Whether you’re a sector agency, institute, university or another organisation with a higher education offer we will work with you to help higher education be the best that it can be.