Cara Lambregts

Global Student Satisfaction Awards 2023 Category Highlight – Overall Student Satisfaction


Why worry about student satisfaction?

Understanding students’ needs enables institutions to react, adapt and help students create a fulfilling experience in collaboration. Therefore, measuring and understanding student satisfaction can play a pivotal role in improving service provision and offering a better education experience.

Measuring student satisfaction can help universities understand which areas are exceeding expectations and can be used to promote the institution, and which areas are otherwise falling behind and need improvements.

Student satisfaction can similarly rate university performances based on the study experience, excluding aspects related to publications, prestige, or academic outreach. While highly important, these aspects seldom influence the average student experience: student overall satisfaction is a more significant indicator of the ability of a university to serve its student body.

Satisfaction score can be used to understand the ability of an institution to achieve students’ well-being and keep them motivated and engaged during and after their studies. This can help informing new students and correcting expectations so that is easier for them to find their most fitting course of study.

Last but surely not least, a measure of student satisfaction is also relevant for prospective students, seeking to make the best decision for them personally. This measure can be used to make study choices easier and education more transparent. Understanding students’ perceptions allows universities to provide service improvements and align their strategy with their mission and objectives.


2021 Insights

On average, regardless of their study level, students seem to be satisfied with their study experience. Master’s students report the highest satisfaction score of 4.19 (n=27,353), followed by PhD students with 4.08 (n=2,033), Bachelor’s students with 4.03 (n=73,989) and last, short courses students with 3.98 (n=2,272). Other types of studies score the lowest in terms of the overall satisfaction of students, the average score is 3.88 (n=2,934).

What emerges from scores across different study levels is a more positive outlook associated with more mature students. Students pursuing postgraduate programmes are generally more engaged with their institutions and more likely to feel part of a value-creating process, which can partly explain their positive views.



Here is what a student from 2021’s overall satisfaction winner Kühne Logistics University had to say:


Student satisfaction is a crucial aspect of higher education that should not be overlooked. It provides insight into how well universities are meeting the needs and expectations of their students, and it plays a critical role in student retention, reputation, and success. Higher education institutions must prioritize student satisfaction by regularly collecting and analysing data, engaging with students, and providing a range of support services and resources. By doing so, they can create a positive and supportive environment that helps their students succeed.

Do you want to know what your students are thinking about your institution? Participate in this years edition of the Global Student Satisfaction Awards and see how you compare to other schools. Learn more about how to participate here.

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