Today HEA released the key findings from their student academic experience survey. A particular part of these findings stood out as being related to my current research project;
“A key finding from this year’s survey relates to the importance that students put on their teachers in higher education being trained to teach. When asked to rank the importance of three characteristics of the people who teach them, a higher proportion of students rated staff having been trained in how to teach (39%) and having professional or industry expertise (44%) as the number one priority, than staff being active researchers (17%).”
Although this paragraph puts them emphasis on the training of teachers to me the number one priority was of more interest. The importance of teachers having professional or industry experience was of particular interest especially given my research project. Of the academics I’ve surveyed as part of my MA 85% of respondents state they have professional or industry experience, either previous to teaching or alongside their academic roles.
Even if I use these figures as an aside in my dissertation it’s worth noting that the emphasis students put on professional practice experience appears to be consistent with the lecturers at the University.