Trends in Higher Education

14 things faculty say about higher ed today

A new survey gauges faculty opinions on administration, tuition, technology, and more

Student apathy, along with a lack of communication between faculty and university administrations, remain big obstacles for professors, according to a new survey of higher-ed faculty.

The 2018 Professor Pulse Point Survey, from Top Hat, asked almost 2,000 faculty members to weigh in on higher ed issues ranging from active learning and policy to tuition and compensation.

A common theme emerged when survey participants were asked for thoughts on how to improve the relationship between faculty and the administration: communication. Some say faculty input isn’t much desired, other say they would like more school-wide communication and opportunities to work on interdisciplinary collaborations, and others would like to hire administrators who have previously been faculty.

The survey reveals a number of insights and trends from surveyed faculty:

1. Sixty-one percent of professors think apathy among students has increased in the past decade, and many professors say they want to use technology to not only modernize their courses, but motivate students. Seventy-one percent of all surveyed professors cited making the classroom more engaging as their biggest priority.

2. Most surveyed faculty members (87 percent) think the cost of tuition is too high, and because of that, they question if students are getting their money’s worth. When asked to rank from 1-10 how well the current higher-ed system is preparing students for their careers, the average response clocked in at a 6.7. Textbooks also are deemed too expensive, with 90 percent saying they cost too much. Only 33 percent of educators say their students read the assigned text, and 76 percent incorporate interactive, digital learning materials into their course content.

Laura Ascione
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