Flinders’ Student Support shines in curveball year

During a year in which university students were thrown a Covid-19 curveball, the 2020 Student Experience Survey shows Flinders University rose to the challenge, with students reporting they felt they were well supported to achieve their learning ambitions.

Flinders University Senior Deputy Vice-Chancellor Professor Clare Pollock says the disruption of the year including the closure of campuses and sudden transfer to fully online learning is unsurprisingly reflected nationally in the feedback from students.

Yet the Survey reveals Flinders was one of a small number of universities in which students rated that the support they received had increased. Positive ratings for student support declined 0.9% nationally, but for Flinders rose 3.9%, testament to the extraordinary effort of teaching and support staff to deliver high quality learning in trying circumstances.

Flinders jumped from 16th nationally in 2019 to 10th nationally in 2020 on undergraduates’ ratings of student support.

On all metrics in the survey, Flinders improved its position relative to other the national results.

“Our staff responded brilliantly to the challenges facing students keeping our student-centred ethos at the forefront of our response and our students overwhelmingly reported that they were helpful and approachable.. Teaching staff showed creativity, commitment and continued striving for the best outcome for their students.  Support staff were proactive in reaching out to students to deliver the support students wanted when and where it was needed.

“I’m especially pleased that our online learning platform was well rated, with positive endorsement from undergraduates of 87.5%”

“Learner engagement in the classroom was understandably affected by COVID-19 restrictions which prevented much face-to-face learning and access to on-campus teaching spaces and facilities, and shrank the opportunities for students to get together to collaborate and study.  However Flinders’ students rated their engagement significantly higher than the national average at other universities.

“I’m also delighted by the good experience reported by international students. Noting that many struggled to secure employment during the pandemic, they have strongly rated the reputation of Flinders and the qualifications we provide, in the areas they want, and with strong future employment prospects.

The SES results following a good result in the most recent Graduate Outcome Survey in which Flinders undergraduate students reported the highest median salary of all SA universities.

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