Students bouncing back from pandemic doldrums

Psychology student Sudaba Faroughi speaking with Psychology Senior Lecturer, Dr Hakuei Fujiyama

A new national survey of Murdoch University students has recorded a jump in satisfaction for the first time in three years, suggesting students are moving on from the challenges of the pandemic years.

The 2023 Student Experience Survey (SES) is run externally by the Quality Indicators in Learning and Teaching (QILT). Student experience took a hit during the pandemic, with the increase in online learning, financial and job insecurity, closed borders and social isolation all factors in the decline.

Vice Chancellor Andrew Deeks said he was very pleased that both undergraduate (up 2.3%) and postgraduate satisfaction (up 6.3%) had improved significantly in 2023, exceeding the University’s targets, as reported in the recently released 2023 Annual Report.

“If you go back further to the first year of the pandemic, we see the measure of student experience – which was as low as 70.8% for undergraduate students in 2020 – is up to 77.4% in 2023, while the postgraduate score has increased from 73.8% in 2020 to almost 80% (at 79.8%),” Professor Deeks said.

Bachelor of Psychology student Sudaba Faroughi said while the pandemic had been challenging, she also credited her level of satisfaction to the efforts of Murdoch’s academic staff.

“One of my favourite teachers is Hakuei Fujiyama, who adopts a very practical approach to teaching,” she said.

“His classes are very interesting and engaging. He is also a very approachable and caring teacher. It’s that level of care which makes Murdoch unique.”

Sudaba made the switch from another university, where she was less satisfied with the student experience. Now in her third year of a Psychology degree, she is inspired to be moving into a profession that helps people maintain mental health and wellbeing.

“I think there was such a focus on mental health during the pandemic, that focus isn’t going away, so I think it’s a very worthwhile profession,” she said.

Dr Hakuei Fujiyama, Senior Lecturer in the School of Psychology at Murdoch University said he is thrilled to see the positive trends in the recent SES.

“It's a testament to the University's progress and the dedication of our staff,” he said.

I personally find it very rewarding to work with students. Their passion for learning and commitment to improving their skill sets are inspiring."Dr Hakuei Fujiyam, School of Psychology

“It's a privilege to support them as they strive for academic and personal growth, contributing positively to society.”

The SES measure of overall student satisfaction with their entire educational experience is a Key Performance Indicator for student satisfaction in the University strategy, Building a brighter future, together - Ngala Kwop Biddi.

“It’s pleasing to see satisfaction with Murdoch’s learning resources, study and teaching spaces showed strong improvement, coinciding with the opening of our award-winning new academic building Boola Katitjin,” Professor Deeks said.

“These results are also a testament to the dedication of our academic staff, with teaching quality the strongest comment theme from surveyed students.”

Image: Dr Hakuei Fujiyama (left), Psychology Senior Lecturer speaking with Psychology student Sudaba Faroughi (right).

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Posted on:

15 Apr 2024

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