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Student expectations and perceptions of higher education


In 2012 the Quality Assurance Agency (QAA) commissioned King’s College London, led by Dr Camille B. Kandiko Howson, to undertake research into student expectations and perceptions of the quality of their learning experience and the academic standards of their chosen programmes of study. A parallel project took place at the University of Bath under the leadership of Gwen van der Velden, which explored student engagement practices in UK higher education institutions.

This project provides illustrative examples of the issues affecting students in the first year of a funding model in England that is significantly different both to that in existence in previous years and to that operated in the other countries of the UK.


Project publications:


Project aims

The findings of this project aim to provide:


  • A better understanding of student perceptions of quality and standards, leading to the possibility of more effective relationships within and across institutions
  • Sector, academic and student groups that are better equipped to understand student engagement and thus facilitate enhancement
  • Examine the impact of recent policy developments on students’ perceptions of quality
  • A more developed understanding of how perceptions vary across student groups, institutional types and regional settings

Project team

The project team has been led by Dr Camille B. Kandiko Howson, Research Fellow, King’s Learning Institute and the research assistant on the project was Dr Matt Mawer.

Further information email Dr Camille B. Kandiko Howson (, Research Fellow, tel: 020 7848 3081.  

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