Photography Studies College (PSC) in Melbourne has ranked extraordinarily well in the 2017 Student Experience Survey, conducted and funded by the Australian Government.
The purpose of the survey (SES), which was released last month by the Quality Indicators for Learning and Teaching (QILT), is to document educational standards and student satisfaction across universities and non-university higher education institutions.
And boy, are those PSC students satisfied.
PSC ranks third out of the 53 non-university institutions for overall education experience, with a 94.1 percent rating, trailing closely behind the Jazz Music Institute and the private Campion College Australia. Based on the research, it’s Australia’s leading visual arts education institution.
This number combines feedback from five areas – skills development (93.3 percent), learner engagement (97.5), teaching quality (93.4), student support (93.2), and learning resources (97.3).
‘I am so proud of our talented staff who are all so committed to creating the best experience for our students. Students are rightly very discerning about their education,’ Julie Moss, PSC managing director, said. ‘They know what works for them and what they need in order to have a high quality educational experience. Our students have spoken and given us the highest possible endorsement!’
The research is done by the Social Research Centre, which surveys students and graduates each year for the SES report.
There’s a number of caveats which affect the accuracy of the survey’s findings.
Firstly, QILT highlights the need to maximise participation rates in order to gain a sample size which accurately reflects the student population.
PSC had a 69.6 percent participation rate from students, an increase from 62.7 last year.
Secondly, non-university institutions tend to be smaller and attract fewer students. For this reason the research from 2016 and 2017 have been combined.
The SES report says despite any caveats PSC is a site ‘of best practice in the student experience which other institutions may learn from’.
‘This is the third consecutive year that we have taken part in the Student Experience Survey, and the second year that we have been rated number one against all HE providers in the country, public and private,’ said PSC higher education course director, Daniel Boetker-Smith. ‘We are so proud that our Bachelor of Photography course has been rated by our students as the best visual arts degree in the country. The secret of our success is simple – we have specialist world-class facilities, internationally renowned staff, and we maintain small class sizes across the course to ensure that students get the right start in their creative career.’
Beyond ranking as the best Australian visual arts education institution, a PSC student recently won the $50,000 Moran Photographic Prize.