One in four UCS students unhappy at uni experience

IPSWICH: More than a quarter of students studying in the town are not satisfied with their university experience, a new report has today revealed.

University Campus Suffolk (UCS) has ranked in the bottom ten universities in the National Student Survey.

The number of satisfied students has dropped from 80 per cent last year to just 71 per cent in this year’s survey, ranking UCS ninth from the bottom of the league table.

But bosses at UCS have today said there are major changes afoot that will have a “huge impact” on students’ experiences over the next year.

The survey, published by the Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE) asked all full and part-time students about every aspect of their university experience, including teaching, assessment, support and resources.

Professor Mike Saks, provost at UCS since May, said in areas, including teaching and assessment, the university has “outstripped” the average.

He said: “Obviously we always like to have very good, top performances.

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“We are a new university, having only opened in 2007 and we have gone through some major changes in the last three years, with the new buildings going up.

“Students who have completed this survey will have lived through the experience and that will impact on their time and therefore the survey.

“We would like to be higher up the league table but the survey has to be taken in the context of comparing ourselves with universities that were established years ago.”

But he said in terms of comparing teaching, assessments and feedback UCS has “outstripped” many of the more established institutions.

In subjects including psychology, social work, media studies, management studies, design studies and business studies UCS has done better than the average in both categories.

UCS is still in the process of change with more facilities for students planned to open in the next academic year.

Professor Saks said among those are a new Students Union and cafe, student accommodation and a one-stop shop for students’ needs from financial problem solving to housing issues.

“A state-of-the-art students union is very important for a quality student experience,” Professor Saks added.

He said their aim is to “shoot up” the league table as students reap the rewards of the changes happening.

He added: “We are very optimistic we will be the campus to come to in the future.

“Students starting here now will reap the benefits of the changing environment. We have some positive plans to move things forward.

“We are one of the youngest universities in the country and it makes things very exciting.”

n What is your experience of UCS? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN or e-mail eveningstarletters@eveningstar.co.uk

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