Researching the Kent student experience – findings

Not every student’s experience is going to be the same and we do not think it should be. However, what are the key ingredients for a great learning experience at Kent?

Last year we spoke to nearly 2,000 students and 60 staff members to try to answer that question and articulate what every student should experience while at Kent.

Our research found that through your studies and co-curricular activities you want to experience:

  • Learning that is relevant to your goals, interests and ambitions

You thought the University offered opportunities that support your passion for your subject and personal growth. You also said that teaching needs to make explicit connections to the real world and potential careers.

  • Active learning with feedback

Learning happens when you read, talk, write, explain, make connections between ideas, try things out and observe the results, analyse, evaluate, apply, and organise your knowledge in meaningful ways. When you do these things, staff can give you feedback, which also helps your learning.

  • A challenging, supportive and inclusive environment

We hear that you value challenge, but also need guidance about new expectations, how you can rise to them and how you can take best advantage of co-curricular opportunities.

  • A diverse student and staff population from around the world

Many of you want to engage with peers intellectually. You also recognise that peer interaction – in and outside of classes – supports a range of educational goals.

  • Meaningful interactions with staff

You particularly appreciate inspiring or helpful interactions with staff members. Yet the report shows that many of you are disappointed when you do not experience this.

  • Work experience, real world projects, public exhibitions/performances or study abroad

Many of our courses offer a fourth year in industry/abroad or a final year project. You told us that these experiences help to enhance your learning and student experience at Kent.

Work has already started to enhance course and co-curricular opportunities. If you want to get more from your time at Kent visit the Student Guide and Kent Union website for all the opportunities available to you.

Thank you to everyone who took part in this study. If you would like to know more you can read the full report online (pdf).