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Last Updated: Thursday, 8 September 2005, 13:41 GMT 14:41 UK
Philosophy students 'a happy lot'
student with Christian Union guide
Tens of thousands of students responded to the survey
Students of philosophy and theology are the most satisfied in higher education, results of an official survey suggest.

They recorded the highest median "overall satisfaction" level: 4.3 out of a maximum possible five points.

History and archaeology, physical science, biology and English-based studies all rated 4.2.

Art and design ranked lowest, 3.7, with media studies, computer science and technology on 3.8, in results leaked to the Times Higher Education Supplement.

They are understood to be preliminary findings from an unprecedented survey of 285,000 final year students on every large course in England, Wales and Northern Ireland.

It was carried out by the Higher Education Funding Council for England, which said the full results would be published on 20 September on the Teaching Quality Information website.


More than 170,000 students - almost 60% - responded, answering questions on a series of themes: teaching on courses, assessment and feedback, academic support, organisation and management, learning resources and personal development.

Different aspects of courses attracted different responses.

Respondents rated veterinary sciences, for example, only 2.9 for assessment and feedback but four for academic support.

The chair of the management committee of the Media, Communications and Cultural Studies Association, Christine Geraghty of Glasgow University, told the Times Higher there might be a gap between students' career expectations and the reality.

Investment in resources might be another factor, with art and design and media studies requiring more equipment.

In general teaching was highly rated, scoring more than four out of five in most subjects.

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