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Student satisfaction at an all-time high despite the impact of COVID-19

20 August 2020
University of Sydney students report highest ever levels of satisfaction with their learning experience

Despite the significant learning challenges associated with the outbreak of COVID-19, both domestic and international students at the University of Sydney rate their learning experience during Semester 1, 2020 higher than ever before*.

The annual Unit of Study Survey (USS) collects feedback on the student experience at the unit of study level and is a great way for students to share their opinion on what we’re doing well and where we can improve. 

With more than 66,000 survey responses from current students at the undergraduate and postgraduate level, who were collectively enrolled in more than 3300 units of study, the overall mean USS score across six core survey items reached 4.11 on a scale of 1 (strongly disagree) to 5 (strongly agree). 

Vice-Chancellor and Principal Dr Michael Spence credits the positive results to the University’s teaching staff for their dedication to ensure students continued receiving quality education during a very challenging semester.

"Our students have rated their experience with units of study higher than ever before, demonstrating the exceptional quality of learning experiences delivered during a period of unprecedented disruption, and reflecting a very encouraging and healthy trend", said Dr Spence.

Semester 2 will combine face-to-face with remote learning in as many courses as possible, while keeping the safety of our community and public health guidelines in mind.

We will continue to provide high-quality remote learning for students who are not yet able to join us in person due to travel restrictions, and work hard to ensure that you continue to feel supported throughout this time.    

Jennah Haddock 
Master of Medical Imaging Science 

"There has been an extensive amount of support available to me as an online student, and I strongly believe that my teachers have adapted extremely well to COVID-19. They have made an effort to keep me well informed with continuous communication via various platforms such as zoom meetings and discussion boards, turning what had the potential to be an extremely stressful semester of study into a really positive experience. It’s great to be studying as part of such a connected and supportive community to provide some stability and reassurance during COVID-19."

Urvashi Bandhu
Master of Public Policy

“The standard of teaching has been high and the approachability, ease of access and communication with my lecturers here is something I truly appreciate. I am impressed with the immense support I’ve received, whether for assignments, a unit of study or even career advice. My lecturers have all ensured I wasn’t left feeling lost. I’ve quite enjoyed studying online.”

Emma Stevens 
Bachelor of Engineering Honours (Chemical and Biomolecular) and Bachelor of Project Management

“Studying chemical engineering and project management online opened my mind to a new way of learning through live lectures, tutorials and additional help sessions, run by the supportive teaching staff. I was able to go at my own pace and enjoyed taking the extra time to look into some current and real-world applications of the subject matter.”

Khuat Son Tra (Hazel) Nguyen 
Bachelor of Commerce student

“Because our lectures are recorded, I found online learning gave me more flexibility and control of my schedule. That’s really helped me study better. For example, I find I am more creative at night, so I like to work on the more creative subjects then and concentrate on maths subjects during the day.”

 “My tutor knew how to engage everyone in conversation and made us feel comfortable learning online. He even wrote a song that he sung for us at the end of semester.”

Callan Maloney
Bachelor of Science (Honours), major in Chemistry

"For the most part, it has felt surprisingly similar to normal, especially in the vein of study – as I do almost all of my studying at home regardless of the study mode (online or at home). The large majority of lectures have taken to the online delivery mode with enthusiasm and it has been great to see some lectures really shine with the online delivery mode."


* For Semester 1 2020, the overall mean USS score across 6 core survey items reached 4.11 on a scale of 1 (strongly disagree) to 5 (strongly agree) and is the highest for Semester 1 since we launched the new version of the survey in 2015.

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