YouthSight's research for HEPI and HEA hits BBC, The Guardian and The Independent headlines

Press and Announcements | 22 May 2014

YouthSight completes over 15,000 interviews for Higher Education Policy Institute & Higher Education Academy’s important new academic experience study.


The findings from YouthSight’s recent survey for the Higher Education Policy Institute (HEPI) and the Higher Education Academy (HEA) have been released today.  The study entitled “The HEPI / HEA 2014 Student Academic Experience Survey” was based on interviews with 15,046 UK students which YouthSight conducted for HEPI / HEA.

Ben Marks, YouthSight’s managing director commented, “We are once delighted to be able to help HEPI and HEA with this important research.  Since 2006, YouthSight has been responsible for the fieldwork on all six waves of this study.  We have been able to help HEPI and their research partners obtain very reliable data (with a high degree of stability).  And all parties can be absolutely sure, that as an independent research agency we have absolutely no axe to grind, on what is, a very sensitive topic for higher education.”

Contrary to the way the study has been reported in much of the press, the study found high levels of satisfaction with teaching among full time undergraduates, with 86% of students either fairly or very satisfied with their course. However, 31% said they would definitely or maybe have chosen another course if they were to have their time again. Students’ were less happy about the value for money the felt they were receiving.  With only 10 minutes extra contact time with lecturers since the new £9000 fees were introduced, 33% of current first and second year students felt their course offered poor or very poor value for money (compared to only 18% in 2012 before the tuition fee rise). When students were asked their top three priorities for institutional expenditure, reduced tuition fees was most popular (48%) followed by reduced teaching hours and reducing the size of teaching groups (both 35%). Universities minister David Willetts said, institutions will need to ‘raise their game’.

A short summary of the findings can be seen on HEPI’s website ( together with more detailed summaries and the full HEPI / HEA 2014 Student Academic Experience Survey report

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