Is the enhancement of student experience a strategic priority in Australian universities?

Shah, Mahsood and Richardson, John T. E. (2016). Is the enhancement of student experience a strategic priority in Australian universities? Higher Education Research and Development, 35(2) pp. 352–364.

DOI: https://doi.org/10.1080/07294360.2015.1087385

Abstract

Universities in many countries are developing strategies to enhance the student experience. This focus has never been so important since the development of rankings and the use of student experience measures in institutional performance assessment. Australian government policies to link student experience measures to performance funding were a key driver to increase the prominence of the student voice between 2004 and 2008. This paper analyses the strategic plans of 33 Australian universities with the aim of outlining the extent to which the enhancement of student experience is embedded as one of their key priorities. This review comes at a time when universities in Australia and elsewhere are realigning their future strategies and directions to achieve government aspirations for tertiary education with the introduction of various policy instruments including the possibility of rewarding universities on the basis of student experience measures. The paper also provides a comparative analysis of government policies in Australia and the UK on the measurement and enhancement of the student experience.

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