Student experience is about much more than contact hours, says 1994 Group

The 1994 Group of leading universities has responded to the survey on student experiences in UK universities, published today by the Higher Education Policy Institute (HEPI).


Professor Michael Farthing, Chairman of the 1994 Group and Vice Chancellor at the University of Sussex, said:


“HEPI have produced a worthwhile report and the data it contains provides some useful benchmarks for university leaders. However, we do need to keep two important facts in mind as we consider the report’s conclusions.


“The first is that while tuition fees have indeed risen, the rise has done little more than replace money that has been lost through Government funding cuts.  So while the very best universities are striving to deliver ever better student experiences, they do so without increases in investment. As we approach the next Government spending review we absolutely have to recognise that the UK’s leading universities need high levels of investment if they are to maintain their globally regarded excellence. 


“The second fact to consider is that identifying a high quality student experience is about much more than simply counting the hours spent in the library or lecture theatre. 1994 Group universities are among the very best in the world because they offer well rounded student experiences. This means teaching influenced by world class research, carried out in cutting edge facilities, and on campuses rich in extra-curricula opportunities. Ignoring these features in favour of a simple tally of contact and study hours reveals little about the real quality of the student experience in UK universities.” 




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Notes to Editors:

1.    The 1994 Group represents the UK’s leading student-focused research-intensive universities. It was established in 1994 to promote excellence in University research and teaching.


2.  9 of the top 20 universities in the Guardian University Guide 2012 league tables are 1994 Group members. 5 of the top 20 universities in the 2012 Sunday Times University League Table are 1994 Group members. 6 of the top 20 universities in the 2012 Complete University Guide are 1994 Group members. The University of Bath is the Sunday Times University of the year.

3. The 1994Group represents: University of Bath, Birkbeck University of London,  University of East Anglia, University of Essex,  Goldsmiths University of London, Institute of Education University of London, Royal Holloway University of London, Lancaster University, University of Leicester, Loughborough University, University of Reading, University of St Andrews, School of Oriental and African Studies, University of Surrey, University of Sussex.

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