A question has been put to students on whether they should know the academic qualifications of their university lecturers.
According to a study by the largest online UK student community – The Student Room, 77% of respondents felt they should know what grades and qualifications their university lecturers got in their own academic studies. One in five of those surveyed said that knowing lecturers qualifications would ‘definitely’ influence their choice of university.
When you’re paying roughly £64k for a degree getting value for money is essential – so should you consider how well a lecturer performed academically when considering university choices? Shouldn’t students want to be taught by the best lecturers? Surely having some form of teaching qualification is expected?
Well, 57% of the students surveyed were frankly surprised that some lecturers don’t have any form of teaching qualification. Perhaps universities are trying to tighten the purse strings by using more and more PhD students to deliver course lecturers – students who may not have any actual teaching qualifications themselves, but are probably cheaper. From my own time at university, the worst series of lecturers I had were delivered by a PhD student, and looking back we probably should have at least enquired if he had a qualification to teach.
In reality for many students, the content of the course and location of the university are bigger driving factors. In my third year, a lecturer who did include his full academic qualifications in the first PowerPoint presentation (they were impressive) had one of the worst lecturing and delivery styles during my entire time at university. While being very knowledgeable on his subject of expertise, he didn’t seem to inspire any minds in the lecture hall – presentations were dull, uninspiring and mainly read from a script. It probably explains why attendance numbers quickly dropped off. If I knew that this series of lectures were waiting for me in my final year, would I have chosen to study somewhere else?
Not really. The quality of the entire course and the prime city location (being a country bumpkin) were much more important. As ever, it comes down to personal preference. Yet having a lecturer’s grades and qualifications readily available on the university website, or in a prospectus will help some students make their own choice. It simply gives students more information when deciding the path of their higher education, and this can only be a good thing for all students.