Studies in Learning, Evaluation, Innovation and Development > Vol. 10, No. 1 (2014)

The student experience at risk? Measurement and enhancement of student experience in private tertiary education

Chenicheri Sid Nair, The University of Western Australia
Mahsood Khan, The University of Newcastle


Governments and quality agencies are using such measures to identify potential risks, benchmarking with comparable institutions, and publishing the results in the public domain. In countries such as the UK, student experience results are also used in rankings and league tables. Since 2009, a number of policy instruments have been developed to strengthen the measurement and reporting of student experience. They include the introduction of the new University Experience Survey (UES), the current review of the Australian Graduate Survey (AGS), and the introduction of the MyUniversity website. To date none of the recent policies related to student experience are aimed at private tertiary education. This is despite the growth of the private sector, and student experience now being used by the Tertiary Education Quality and Standards Agency (TEQSA) as risk indicators. This paper outlines the current dilemma in the consistent measurement and reporting of student experience, and it argues the need for the government to revisit its policies with the view of a ‘one tertiary education’ approach which can be used by all kinds of providers including VET, higher education, and dual sector providers.

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