How satisfied are FAU students? – FAU-St in pictures

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The results of the student survey over the last few years – Part 1

The results of the FAU-St student survey are a valuable quality management tool for teaching and studying. Examining the data collected over a period of several years is an interesting way to discover any potential trends and changes among the responses. With this in mind, we will be looking at the results of the FAU-St survey from 2016 to 2020 during the next few weeks, starting with the questions about satisfaction with studying in general:

How happy are students with the topics covered in their degree programmes? What about the quality of teaching? And how many students want to change their degree subject? These questions are just a small selection chosen for this article. The entire report containing the findings of previous FAU-St surveys is available on the OPUS publication and document server.


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General positive trend for topics covered in degree programmes

The evaluation of the quality of teaching, studying conditions and the topics covered improved significantly between 2016 or 2017 and 2020. Above all, satisfaction with course content has continued to rise, with the proportion of students who are very satisfied or rather satisfied with this aspect of their degree increasing from 57.2 percent in 2016 to 71 percent in 2020 (visualized below as “Inhalte des Studiums”).

In comparison, satisfaction with study situation has remained stable at around 60 percent. Whereas in 2016, 61 percent of students were very satisfied or rather satisfied with this aspect, this has fallen to 58.5 percent during the last survey after a small drop in 2017 (visualized below as “Studiensituation”).

However, the bottom line is that the majority of students are generally very satisfied or rather satisfied.

Desire to change degree subject decreases, intention to drop out remains stable

In addition, there are students who are ‘partly’ satisfied with the quality of teaching, study conditions, course content and the study situation. They make up 21 to 28 percent of the respondents, depending on the aspect under consideration. This means that 6 to 14 percent of respondents are not at all satisfied or rather unsatisfied, depending on the topic.

This raises the question of how many students at FAU would like to change university or subject or even drop out entirely from their current degree programme.

Between 2016 and 2020, the proportion of students who indicated they would like to drop out varies between 2.9 and 3.5 percent (visualized below as “Abbruchsintention”). The survey cannot say, of course, if these students did actually act upon this intention.

The proportion of students who intended to change their main subject or degree programme dropped slightly from 6.5 to 5.2 percent (visualized below as “Wechselwunsch in Bezug auf das Hauptfach/Studiengang”). After a rise in 2019 to 8 percent, only 6.3 percent of respondents said in 2020 that they would like to change university (visualized below as “Wechselwunsch in Bezug auf die Hochschule”).

Percentage of the desire to change universities

New emphasis in 2020 on classes held online

It is certainly not surprising that a great deal of time was spent in 2020 on classes held online. With 13 hours per week, this method of transferring knowledge replaced face-to-face teaching almost entirely in 2020 due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Compared with previous years, in 2020 students spent more time in classes or doing things related to their studies – 36 hours per week, compared with 30 hours per week in 2016. The time for taking on paid work remained almost unchanged at three to four hours per week.

Every year, students at FAU have the opportunity to evaluate their study situation and the services provided by the University during the FAU-St student survey. Due to the coronavirus pandemic, students were also asked to evaluate online teaching during last year’s survey. We will now use the data from 2016 to 2020 to prepare graphics of the results during the next few weeks.

The entire report of previous FAU-St surveys is available on the OPUS publication and document server.