Category / student research

What students really want (and why it matters)

BU hosted Dr Diana Beech from the Higher Education Policy Institute on Wednesday morning for a policy breakfast, part of this year’s CELebrate symposium.  In a packed room and despite the early start, we had a great discussion about student perceptions, value (and value for money).

Diana started with a review of the HEPI/AdvanceHE 2018 Student Academic Experience Survey, which was published last week.  The survey was  established in 2006, so is now in its 12th year, giving useful data trends.  It surveys over 14,000 full-time undergraduate students in all years of study (not just final year students like the NSS).  The full survey is available to download for free.

  • It seems from the data, that contact time and private study have not changed much since 2006, despite the many changes in the sector, including growing student numbers, changes in funding etc.  However, since 2012, when fees were increased, perceptions of value for money by the students surveyed have fallen consistently – until this year.  This year the percentage of respondents saying that they believed that they were getting good, or very good value for money for their course, moved up from 35% to 38%.  And the percentage saying they got poor, or very poor value for money went down from 34% to 32%.  [Ed: These figures are often cited by Ministers, and were by Sam Gyimah at his speech last week (see our policy update last week for more on this topic) – “only [just over] a third of students think they get value for money” is the headline, and the government’s own initiatives in terms of a relentless focus on quality through the TEF, the new regulatory environment etc are credited with the improvement].
  • Diana described how this year a new question had been asked about what the reasons were behind the rating that had been given for value for money – for those saying that they received good or very good value, the top 5 reasons (in order) were teaching quality, course content, course facilities, career prospects and quality of campus.  On the other side, the top 5 reasons given by those who received poor or very poor value for money were tuition fees, teaching quality, contact hours, course content and cost of living.  It is interesting that teaching quality and course content are levers for good or bad value for money, that concern about money is clearly linked to perceptions of poor value.  It is also unsurprising to see contact hours linked to perceptions of poor value, but it may be of some surprise to see quality of campus linked to good value.
  • So on contact hours, Diana noted that those students with the highest perceptions of value for money also seem to be studying subjects with the greatest overall workload.  [Ed: This is not necessarily linked to contact hours – looking at contact hours the subjects seem to fall into three groups, with medicine, dentistry and veterinary and physical sciences standing out for the number of contact hours (15-19) and history, languages, business and social studies at the other end (8-10).  The rest fall in the middle, but the chart looks at total workload including independent study and work outside the course].
  • Diana also flagged another trend – the percentage of students saying that their experience has been better than they expected has fallen fairly consistently since a high point in 2013, and has fallen again this year from 25% to 23%.  Again, when students saying that the experience was worse than expected (12%), teaching quality came top of the reasons, with course organisation [Ed: a familiar NSS question], lack of support in independent study, lack of interaction with staff, poor feedback (Ed: NSS again) and contact hours featuring again.  The last two of the top 8 reasons were “not put in enough effort myself” (30%) and “too little interaction with other students” (26%).
  • Diana talked about commuter students, who are less likely to be satisfied, and more likely to say that if they had known what they know now, would not have entered HE – along with those who are employed for more than 10 hours and Asian students.  There is intersectionality here, Asian students and those who are employed for more than 10 hours have a higher propensity to be commuter students.  Diana talked about her recent report for HEPI looking at the potential growth in undergraduates by 2030 (as many as 500,000 more) – and the possibility that many of those may be commuter students – a challenge for the sector given the concerns raised above.
  • Developing this theme, Diana mentioned the recent paper written by Sir Anthony Seldon and Dr Alan Martin on the “positive and mindful university“.
  • Diana referred to the HEPI/Unite Students report “Reality Check – a report on university applicants’ attitudes and perceptions”.  One concern is that only 49% of applicants realise that rent will be their biggest cost apart from tuition fees.  Diana discussed concerns about whether students understand where their tuition fees are spent, and the interesting response to the question about how tuition fees should be spent (teaching facilities (65%), teaching staff (60%), student support services (57%) come top, campus development (52%), financial support for students (49%) and research facilities and resources (49%) come next.  Interestingly student recruitment and marketing are lower on the list (at 16% and 15%) and investing in the local community is supported by only 12%.

You can read Diana’s slides here.

We then had a Q and A and discussion session with a panel consisting of Debbie Holley, Lois Farquharson, Alex Hancox and Diana and chaired by Jane.

  • We discussed commuter students and the particular issues of making the campus “sticky” for these students, particularly in relation to HSS students who live near work and final year students who may have put down roots in their placement year and becoming commuter students is one reason why they can find it hard to reintegrate in their final year (there may be other reasons too). [Ed: see an interesting article on Wonkhe this week on stickiness generally)
  • We discussed issues linked to value for money – should we talk about value, and not focus on financial return [Ed: see last week’s policy blog for our take on the latest ministerial pronouncements about graduate salaries]
  • We also talked about the wider value of university in terms of life experience, friendships, soft skills- and how this is important but often overlooked [Ed: there are a couple of interesting articles on this in last week’s policy blog]
  • We talked about student information and the importance of making sure that applicants could access the information about the things that mattered for them, and how talking to students, and spending more time than just an open day, might be an important part of this.  We discussed briefly the importance of students understanding how their fees are spent (which is in the survey) and how to do this better.
  • In terms of expectations, Alex pointed out that students were overloaded with information in induction week and it was suggested that we need to follow up, drip feed etc.
  • We talked briefly about tuition and living costs.  Points were made about how challenges with living costs might be increasing the number of commuter students and affecting their outcomes.  We also discussed the unhelpful terminology around loans, debt, value for money, tuition fees that are really “university fees”.  [Ed: This is a very big subject, you might want to read BU’s response to the review of post-18 education and we gave links to other sector responses in our policy update on 4th May.]
  • We talked about mental health and wellbeing – including about how some students might choose to live at home for support.  We also discussed challenges with the definition of “living at home”  – it may be different issues for mature students who have families than 18 year old students who live with parents – although the impact on extra-curricular engagement may be the same
  • We talked about engaging students with research and equality of access to these sorts of opportunities for broader engagement
  • We discussed the TEF and the use of splits data – are universities really using their splits data and is it driving change?
  • In the context of contact hours, Alex made the point that quality of contact is as important as the amount – students may want more help not more lectures.

HEPI are interested in further research and policy publications, using this data or other data – please contact policy@bournemouth.ac.uk if you would like to discuss this further.

Many thanks to all who attended and we look forward to continuing the dialogue on many of these issues.

 

BU Nutrition students help to transform hospital menus

BSc (Hons) Nutrition students at Bournemouth University have been working with staff at Poole’s Alderney Hospital to produce new menus for hospital patients and staff, which are tasty, nutritious and full of locally-sourced ingredients.

Thanks to the students, Alderney Hospital also expects to see a reduction in its food wastage figures which could lead to significant savings.

Click here to find out more about how the BU students carried out this transformation.

Mike Smith, Geograph.

 

Conducting research in the NHS – what you need to know

Are you interested in conducting your research project in the NHS? Have you got plans to do so in the future? Or, are you simply interested in the prospect of doing this at some point during your academic or professional career?

If you are then there are additional requirements in order to make this a reality…however, don’t worry, because the R&KEO office can assist you in achieving these, helping to streamline the process.
Get in touch with researchethics@bournemouth.ac.uk with any queries you may have.

Please note that BU is required to act as the Sponsor for clinical studies conducted in the NHS, by its students or staff members. The Sponsor is defined as ‘the person or body who takes on ultimate responsibility for the initiation, management and financing (or arranging the financing) of a clinical research study.’
Get in touch with researchethics@bournemouth.ac.uk as soon as feasible if you think that your study will require BU to act as Sponsor

New BU mental health paper published

Congratulations to FHSS students Folashade Alloh and Igoche Onche who found out today that their ‘Mental health in low-and-middle-income countries (LMIC): Going beyond the need for funding’ has been accepted for publication by the editors of Health Prospect.  The paper is co-authored by FHSS staff Dr Pramod Regmi, Prof Edwin van Teijlingen and Dr Steven Trenoweth. Health Prospect is an Open Access journal.

More than 70% of the global mental health burden occurs in many low-and middle-income countries (LMIC). The paper discusses mental health issues in LMIC under different themes such as abuse and mental illness, cultural influence on mental health, need for dignity in care, meeting financial and workforce gaps and the need for national health policy for mental health sector. The paper highlights that mental health education and health care services in most LMIC is poorly resourced; however, there is an urgent need to address issues beyond funding that contribute to poor mental health. In order to meet the increasing challenge of mental health illness in LMIC, there is a need for effort to address cultural and professional practices that contribute to poor mental health among individuals. The authors argue that mental health should be integrated into primary health care in LMIC. Creating awareness on impact of some cultural attitudes/practices will encourage better uptake of mental health services and increase the ease of discussing mental health issues in these countries which will contribute to reducing stigma faced by mental health patients.

Photo of the Week: Surviving the advertising apocalypse with RAISA

Surviving the advertising apocalypse with RAISA (Robotics, Artifical Intelligence, Service Automation)

Our Photo of the Week series has returned and we’re kicking off with Elizabeth Falkowska’s research photo in collaboration with Dr Elvira Bolat (Senior Lecturer in Marketing) for this project.

This weekly series features photo entries taken by our academics, students and professional staff for our annual Research Photography Competition, which gives a glimpse into some of the fantastic research undertaken across the BU community.

A 2016 World Economic Forum report has predicted that more than five million jobs will be lost to automation and robots by 2020. This causes unease for people within marketing and creative firms who are already struggling to survive an ‘advertising apocalypse’ due to digital transformation of business, consumption and communication. This project founds that to avoid disruption and enable creative agencies focus on doing what they are great at – creative idea generation – relationship resources are critical to RAISA complex ecosystems where companies like Microsoft become an important partner for creative agencies for successful deployment of RAISA.

Elizabeth Falkowska is a final year undergraduate student in BA (Hons) Business Studies with Marketing. For more information about this research, please contact Dr Elvira Bolat.

Publication by BU midwifery student

Rebecca Weston, BU student midwife, on the publication of her article: ‘When all you want to do is run out of the room…‘  Rebecca published this reflective piece in May issue of the journal The Practising Midwife.  She wrote it shortly after having been involved in “a traumatic, sudden and heart-breaking event in practice”.   Reflection is certainly beneficial in experiential learning, developing critical thinking and integrating midwifery theory and practice.

It is my pleasure to wrote this BU Research Blog to congratulate Rebecca today on the International day of the Midwife

Well done!

Prof. Edwin van Teijlingen

Centre for Midwifery, Maternal & Perinatal Health (CMMPH)

 

Good representation BU research at 2018 BNAC conference

Today on the second day of the 2018 BNAC (Britain-Nepal Academic Council) conference there was a very good representation of Bournemouth University (BU) research at Durham University.  BU’s Professor Michael Wilmore presented his paper: Construction of ‘Community’ in Research on Nepalese Commons.  In the morning FHSS’s PhD student Jib Acharya had an oral presentation on Impact of Healthy Snacks on Children’s Health: An Overview of a Pilot Study.

Prof. Edwin van Teijlingen presented joint work between BU, Liverpool John Moors University (LJMU) and the University of Oxford on the topic Skills transfer, employability & entrepreneurship of returnee labour migrants in Nepal. Bournemouth University was involved in this project through Dr. Pramod Regmi, Dr. Nirmal Aryal and Prof. Edwin van Teijlingen.

The final talk of the day (and of the conference) was by Prof. Padam Simkhada from LJMU.  Prof. Simkhada is also Visiting Professor at the Centre for Midwifery, Maternal & Perinatal Health at Bournemouth University.  He was presenting Debate on Educational Reform in Nepal: Outcomes of the International Conference on Quality of Higher Education in Federal Nepal on behalf of LJMU, Bournemouth University and Manmohan Memorial Institute of Health Sciences (MMIHS) in Nepal.  Earlier this year BU signed a Memorandum of Agreement with MMIHS in Kathmandu.

 

Congratulations to two FHSS PhD students

Congratulations to two Faculty of Health & Social Sciences PhD students, Preeti Mahato and Elizabeth Waikhaka, who co-authored a paper published in the WHO South-East Asia Journal of Public Health. Their paper is called ‘Social autopsy: a potential health-promotion tool for preventing maternal mortality in low-income countries’.[1]   Co-authors include Dr. Puspa Pant from the Centre for Child and Adolescent Health, University of the West of England (Bristol) and Dr. Animesh Biswas based at the Reproductive & Child Health Department, Centre for Injury Prevention & Research, Bangladesh (CIPRB) in the capital of Bangladesh, Dhaka.

The authors argue that verbal autopsy is used to attribute a clinical cause to a maternal death.  The aim of social autopsy is to determine the non-clinical contributing factors. A social autopsy of a maternal death is a group interaction with the family of the deceased woman and her wider local community, where facilitators explore the social causes of the death and identify improvements needed. Although still relatively new, the process has proved useful to capture data for policy-makers on the social determinants of maternal deaths. This article highlights the potential role of social autopsy in health promotion.

Reference:

  1. Mahato, P.K, Waithaka, E., van Teijlingen, E., Pant, P.R., Biswas, A. (2018) Social autopsy: a potential health-promotion tool for preventing maternal mortality in low-income countries. WHO South-East Asia Journal of Public Health 7(1): 24–28.

E-poster presented by CMMPH student Preeti Mahato in Singapore

Last week I attended and presented e-poster at the RCOG (Royal College of Obstetrics & Gynaecology) World Congress 2018 in Singapore. The main congress programme run 22 to 24 March. RCOG president Professor Lesley Regan told in her opening speech that this Congress had more than 2,800 delegates and 150 speakers from 82 countries. Prof Regan also said that the Congress focused on the need for all to work in the field of obstetrics and gynaecology and to act as advocates for women’s health. Furthermore, she stressed that it is necessary to look beyond clinical aspects and provide safe, high-quality care to speak for the needs of the women, many of whom have no choice of their own.

The e-poster I presented ‘Study of rural maternity and childbirth care in a southern district of Nepal’ is part of my PhD study on maternity care in Nepal.

My e-poster

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

My poster was displayed on the morning of 22nd March (8:08– 8:16 AM) under the topic ‘early pregnancy and acute gynaecology’. Over the three days programme schedule, I also attended several plenary sessions, oral presentations and viewed many e-posters. Although there were many topics specific to clinical aspects of obstetrics and gynaecology, I was mostly interested in presentations related to contraception and fertility control, abortion, gender equality, reproductive and sexual health of marginalised communities, female genital mutilation, breastfeeding and so on. Overall, it was a great experience to learn about research in women’s health and maternity care and an opportunity to do networking with researchers with similar interests.

Finally, I would like to thank Santander Awards to provide me fund to cover my expenses to attend this congress and my supervisors for motivating me to apply for this conference.

CMMPH lecturer Daisy Wiggins’ paper published

Congratulations to Daisy Wiggins in the Centre for Midwifery, Maternal & Perinatal Health (CMMPH) on the publication of her paper ‘The effect of a birthplace decision support tool on women’s decision-making and information gathering behaviours during pregnancy: mybirthplace study protocol’.  The paper is published in the Open Access journal Journal of Innovation in Health Informatics and can be accessed by clicking here!  The paper is co-authored by CMMPH’s Prof. Vanora Hundley, Dr. Carol Wilkins, as well asProf. Carol Bond (University of Wolverhampton) and the Chief Executive of the Royal College of Midwives (RCM) Gill Walton.

 

Congratulations to all!

Prof. Edwin van Teijlingen

CMMPH

 

Reference:

Wiggins D, Hundley VA, Wilkins C, Bond C, Walton G. The effect of a birthplace decision support tool on women’s decision-making and information gathering behaviours during pregnancy: mybirthplace study protocol. J Innov Health Inform.2018;25(1):001–006.