Unlocking Student Feedback: Insights from the SFC survey and how evasys can help

In November 2023, the Scottish Funding Council (SFC) published the results of the annual student satisfaction survey for Scotland’s further education colleges.

Results were excellent, with satisfaction at its highest level since 2018-19.  There was also record participation in the survey, with an increase from last year of 9% for part-time students and 12% for full time students across the 26 colleges that participated. Overall, 92.7% of all students surveyed were satisfied with the college experience.

SFC logo

Although a five-year high in overall satisfaction was recorded, there were lower satisfaction levels around student engagement, communications, feedback and suggestions. As the UK market leader for student survey and insight solutions, the team at evasys has plenty of experience in helping tertiary education institutions improve efforts across these areas.

Read on as we dive into the key findings from the SFC student satisfaction survey and its implications for Scottish colleges – and how evasys can help.

Key findings from the Scottish Funding Council student satisfaction survey 2023

Nearly 97,000 students were surveyed in total and, as previously mentioned, satisfaction amongst students at Scotland’s colleges is at its highest level since 2018-19, with record response rates of 54.9% from full-time students and 26.3% from part-time students.

Overall, nine out of ten students were satisfied with their college experience. Breaking this down further, the survey results split responses by full and part-time study, as well as further or higher education courses:

  • Table 1: Student satisfaction levels by study type

Study TypeProportion Satisfied

Full-time further education

94.6%

Full-time higher education

89.1%

Part-time further education

95.7%
Part-time higher education91.7%

The full survey was broken down into thirteen statements for students to agree or disagree with, and these statements, along with full results can be found on the SFC website.  In many cases, statements pertaining to student engagement and feedback had a lower level of satisfaction than other areas:

  • Table 2: Student satisfaction overall compared to other statements

Statement

FE f/t

FE p/t

HE f/t

HE p/t

Overall, I am satisfied with my college experience

94.6%

95.7%

89.1%

91.7%

I receive useful feedback which informs my future learning

92.2%

93.8%

87.3%

91.3%

I believe student suggestions are taken seriously

86.6%

91.2%

79.3%

88.7%

Any change in my course or teaching has been communicated well

87.6%

92%

80.6%

86%

While overall percentages of the late seventies and higher are certainly no cause for alarm, there are always ways of improving results to help achieve a higher satisfaction rate the next time.

How evasys can help

At evasys, we work with educational institutions every day to help them improve student engagement through robust survey and evaluation processes.

We communicate extensively on ways to capture and act on the student voice across blogs, webinars and academic papers, as well as offering expert guidance on closing the feedback loop, evaluating at module level and achieving high response rates for student surveys.

Overall, evasys is ideally placed to offer further education institutions expert help and technology to improve student engagement and let students know that their voices are heard. In terms of the SFC student satisfaction survey specifically, the evasys solution and the team’s experience can help FE colleges to:

evasys Insights from the SFC survey Webinaar 24 Jan 2024 cdr
  • Close the feedback loop: Listening to the student voice and acting on what it tells you is a critical component of making students feel involved and heard. With lower percentages than overall satisfaction rates appearing for the statement “I believe student suggestions are taken seriously” in the SFC survey results, the implication is that not all students feel their voices are heard. The evasys survey solution includes a Closing the Loop feature that allows lecturers and the wider institution to reflect and comment on student feedback, letting them know if suggestions will be acted on, or if not, why not.

  • Collect and provide sentiment analysis on free-text comments: All evasys surveys have the ability to contain free-text comment boxes to collect more detailed feedback from students. Institutions can then apply the AI-driven sentiment analysis tool to these comments for a quick and easy indication of how students feel.

  • Upload/download data easily: evasys enables the smooth upload and download of data from and to CSV files, meaning no rekeying of surveys and data reducing the risk of human data entry error and administration resource requirements.

  • Increase survey response rates: evasys includes a fully automated communication suite including survey reminders to keep required surveys front of mind for those who haven’t yet responded. Importantly, evasys also integrates easily with other institutional systems to allow surveys to appear to students through VLEs, student portals and LTIs.

For a quick peek at some of the features evasys offers, and the chance to quiz our team on specific areas that interest you, we’re hosting a live webinar on Wednesday 24th January 2024 at 2.00 pm.

In just a quick half hour, the evasys team will showcase tools that close the feedback loop, collect and analyse free-text comments, upload/download data and encourage higher response rates for student surveys. They will also provide real-life insights on methods and processes used to ensure that the student survey process is as robust and successful as it can be. Join us!

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