Student Experience Blog


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So Much Student Voice! 

Posted by Cassie Agbehenu | 0 comments
Phew! What a couple of months it's been! The Student Experience Survey and the National Student Surveys have now closed as of 30th April.

Thank you to all of you who completed the surveys. We understand that sometimes it can feel like you're being asked to fill one out every week but these two surveys are of paramount importance. Thanks to all of our survey prize winners too! We hope you all enjoy your iPads, Kindles, Vouchers and iPods!

We improved our response rate to the NSS this year by 1.3%; unfortunately the SES response rate was down by 6.5% and at this stage we don't know why! If you have any thoughts on how the surveys are run or what we can do to encourage more students to complete them and have their voice heard, we'd welcome your comments (email

The full results of the NSS are released in the first week on August so at that point, we'll start looking at the data in lots of detail to see how areas of the university have been rated by our final year students. As for the SES, it's an internal survey so we can start this data analysis work a lot earlier.

The results of both the surveys will be shared with students and we'd love to know what you think. Do the results really reflect how the university should be focussing their efforts in improving student satisfaction? I write two headline theme reports for the surveys, and that tells the senior executive teams what i've interpreted as the key issues for students, and of course the parts of your experience that you're happy with. I hope I convey what students really mean, but to be sure of it, maybe highlight your key concerns to your student rep, programme leader or head of department!

Survey action plans will be shared with student reps at the first Student Rep Staff Forum of the year in September to ensure that programme teams are up to speed with how students really feel about their UWE experiences. The student voice is really important to us so the process of gathering all the feedback data from the surveys, sharing that with you and then doing something about it is crucial.

Next year, we're going to be a lot more vocal about how we respond to your feedback because we're proud to be working with you and we want you to know that your voices are listened to. Look out for feedback campaigns, focus groups, workshops, student rep events and more in 2014/15.

See you in the feedback future!
Cassie Agbehenu, Student Partnership Officer

Student Surveys Are Amazing! Honestly! 

Posted by Cassie Agbehenu | 1 comment
It's that time of year when students are receiving email upon email inviting them to fill out another survey about their views. I'm sure many people get irritated very quickly by it or just ignore and delete these emails. But i'm here to tell you (or maybe beg you...) not to do that!

Currently we're inviting all students to take part in the National Student Survey (for all final year undergraduates) and the Student Experience Survey (for all other taught students, including PGT). These are not just any other survey. These ACTUALLY HAVE AN IMPACT. Yes really!

The outcome of these surveys not only have an impact on our national positioning but they are used to a great extent within the university to inform developments and make changes to the environment, services, facilities and of course your programmes. Last year 86% of students were satisfied with their experiences at UWE but we want to top that. Even if you're not 100% happy and you think we could improve, we want to know about it!

As the Student Partnership Officer, I compile the reports on the surveys and these help us understand which areas we need to focus on to improve your student experience. If you don't do the survey, your voice won't be heard! And I won't have anything to write about during the summer...

No matter what you have to say, complete the survey. It does matter and it does make a difference. Many of the things you have reported as being great this year have been the result of student feedback. Here are some examples of things UWE has done after you said you weren't completely happy.


·        UWEmobile: added links for Timetables and Email

·        Expanded Wifi provision at Frenchay and Bower Ashton Campuses

·        Frenchay - Creation of larger teaching spaces in B/C/S blocks to support flexible teaching delivery to larger group sizes

·        Expanded offer of specialist study skills for students with dyslexia at Bower Ashton

·        Glenside - Creation of 2 new skills labs, consultation rooms and surrounding circulation space to support the new curriculum

Creation of a new open-access learning space and 2 PC labs next to Traders

·        St Matthias – The Employability and Enterprise Fair has been developed and expanded to include more sectors and employers

·        The wellbeing service has reintroduced online counselling services and elongated same day appointments

·        Employability and Enterprise has increased the amount of appointments within the last year and introduced career drop ins

·        Frenchay – Refurbished three lecture theatres and the surrounding foyer areas – one lecture theatre is piloting revolving seat mechanisms that allow for greater flexibility for group work and discussion

·        Stand-alone and easy to access computers and new social learning spaces created over the summer holiday at Frenchay

·        Introduced a university policy for all assignments to be marked and returned with feedback within 20 working days

And there a lots more examples. The student voice is a key component in UWE's development. We want to keep on improving and keep shouting about how you've made a difference and how we've responded to you.

Surveys aren't just for moaning. Please do comment on the really good things you've experienced at UWE too - we need to know what you love so we can keep doing it!

In any case, don't delete that email. Do the survey you're invited to, leave your mark on UWE and help inform change at your university.

You have until 30th April to complete the surveys but if you do them before 28th February you have the chance to win some prizes! Up for grabs:
  • 2x Ipad Mini 16GB (1st prize)
  • 2x Kindle paperwhite 3G (2nd prize)
  • 1x Ipod Nano (3rd prize)
  • 1x Kindle (4th prize)
  • 1x £50 love to shop vouchers (5th prize)

    Last year I read through about 8,000 of your comments to help UWE make some positive changes to your experiences here. I'm ready to read more so take part!

    The National Student Survey
    The Student Experience Survey

  • Welcome to 2014! 

    Posted by Cassie Agbehenu | 0 comments
    Hello and welcome back to UWE for semester two! 2014 already!

    It's a busy time for those of us working in student voice!
    Another round of SRSFs (Student Representative Staff Forums), SU Forums, Student Rep Committee and of course responding to all your feedback that comes in between those meetings.

    Throughout January i'm making student voice campaigning my main focus. We're launching the Full Circle Campaign which is all about the student voice, letting you know how your feedback has made a difference, how UWE has responded and supporting students in working as partners to create change. Exciting stuff!

    The student voice is central to what we do at UWE. If we don't know what students think about their experience how can we work to improve it or shout about it? Soon, you'll start seeing posters on campus with this logo:

    When you see it you'll find information about the campaign, what UWE is doing to respond to your feedback and how you can get involved.

    We'll also be descending on your campus to tell you all about! Keep and eye out in the events news and on Twitter/Facebook for locations but the dates for now are: 
    Frenchay – 21st Jan, 23rd & 27th – 11am-2pm
    Bower Ashton – 30th & 31st Jan – 11am-2pm
    St Matthias – 3rd & 4th Feb – 11am-2pm
    Glenside – 6th & 7th – 11am-2pm
    Dates for Gloucester and Hartpury to come!

    Can't wait to get out and hear your ideas about developing UWE and your experiences.
    See you soon!

    The Student Experience Blog is back! 

    Posted by Cassie Agbehenu | 0 comments
    Hi there!
    I'm Cassie Agbehenu, Student Partnership Officer working in Corporate and Academic Services at UWE.
    I started here in July and my role is to look after all things student engagement and student experience. I work with students and staff to improve the university experience, respond to student surveys, comments and concerns, highlight best practice, encourage student engagement in academic quality, ensure the student voice is heard throughout the university and above all, work to imbed a culture of partnership between students and staff.

    This blog hasn't been updated for a long time and was last used in April 2012! My plan is to use this blog to update everyone on everything to do with student experience, engagement, voice and representation at UWE.
    I'll also be inviting guest bloggers to talk about what they're doing in these areas and together, I am sure we can not only talk about it, but we can make positive changes at UWE.

    Be back soon!
    tags: update

    Starting to take action 

    Posted by Rob Stroud | 0 comments

    This blog post was inspired by two things.  Firstly I spotted a student the other day musing on Twitter whether or not the University was actually open at the moment... Secondly the excellent work my colleagues over in UWESU are doing in updating people (again through Twitter) on what they are doing on a day to day basis over the summer in connection with student representation making me conscious that this blog has been a little neglected of late.  So here is a hopefully succinct update on what we’re doing over the summer, where we are most definitely here and hard at work!

    When I last wrote, we had just started sifting through the data from the 2011 Student Experience Survey.  That process is now complete, and there are some really positive signs in the results.  Year on year, almost all of the themes of the survey (e.g. Teaching, Facilities) show an improvement from the 2010 results.  Particularly encouraging are the score around Assessment and Feedback, and also the extent to which students feel they can provide feedback to us on their course – in both of these areas some questions have seen double digit percentage increases.  Lots of other questions have seen rises by a few percentage points or so. Importantly this year, a higher percentage of students would recommend the University to others, and also a higher percentage said they were satisfied with their course overall.

    pile of paper
    We also know from the data there is still more to do on those themes however, as while we are clearly improving there is still a notable proportion of students who feel we could do more, and that we need to be more consistent across the University.  We need to think about how we roll out improvements – higher scores are always welcome, though we need to remember that we also need to make sure that what we offer is something that is sustainable; we need to be able to offer a high standard of provision without disproportionate drains on our resources.  The results of the survey give us particular areas of focus such as Personal Development and the Graduate Development Programme.   These are clearly important to students and there were a number of ideas suggested in the about how we improve provision and what students do and don’t like here.  

    As I can be regularly heard saying, its not what the results say but what we do about them which is important!  The results at University level have been distributed to departments already.  The local level results – showing data at department and programme level – will be available very soon for colleagues to work with, along with all of the qualitative comments! (Yes, I did read them all!)

    We also have the results of the NSS available in a few weeks, which will give us a good picture of our taught provision across all years of study.  Once all of that data is distributed, departments will be forming their action plans for the year.  This year that will be recorded in their annual Monitoring and Evaluation report.  Including it as part of this wider process ensures that we cut down on separate and overlapping plans, while at the same time increasing the opportunities to review progress.

    It’s very important that we involve our students in our actions – either through working with them to implement or change, making sure we tell them what changes we are making based on their feedback, or both!  We’ll continue to work with student reps this year and hopefully departments will be able to be as transparent as possible with their students over what action they are taking. 

    See more UWE blogs

    u+weAbout this blog

    This blog is a place for all things student experience, engagement, voice and partnership at UWE Bristol. You’ll also find discussion about student feedback, surveys, quality and enhancement. We believe in students becoming co-creators of their education and our aim is to encourage a culture where students and staff work together to make UWE the best it can be.

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