Students have become more discerning customers and consumers of higher education in recent years. It can be assumed that this trend is not about to change anytime soon. So it’s vital to consider what students appear to increasingly value and expect of their higher education experience. This has implications for practically all areas of a higher education institution’s operation – academic and administrative.
First and foremost, students expect value for the time and financial investment they make in undertaking their chosen programme of study. Ever-increasing tuition fees are leaving them with considerable student debt that can take them many years to pay off.
They recognise that in today’s world attaining a degree is about much more than preparation for a single job. They want their credential to equip them with broad-based skills alongside professional discipline-specific knowledge and understanding. They want to know that their education has provided them with the competencies, attributes and learning tools to be flexible, creative and adaptable contributors to society.
They expect to receive a quality education, one that is highly regarded by the profession(s) they anticipate they will enter. At the same time, they want their teaching-learning experience to be engaging and personally rewarding and the curriculum to incorporate a mix of global perspectives and critical societal issues.
Students expect that their education will be robust, transferable and a strong grounding for both career mobility and further studies as wanted or needed. Students know the merit in being able to apply the knowledge and understanding being acquired in their studies to real world experiences.
They appreciate having opportunities whilst enrolled to undertake episodes of work-integrated learning relevant to their career development and to further their acquisition of professional attributes.
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