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The Agency for Science and Higher Education (ASHE) published the results of the survey on needs, expectations, values and opinions about studying of students having enrolled undergraduate, graduated and integrated study programmes in the academic year 2012/2013.

The survey was carried out following the model of other European countries and it shows ASHE’s commitment to the continuous development of a student-centred higher education system. The aim of this survey was to determine students’ overall satisfaction, perception of certain aspects of studying, expectations from study programmes, probability of and reasons for student attrition or change of study programme, as well as to collect concrete proposals for the improvement of the student support process.

With regard to the availability of data on students from the database of the National Information System for Applications to Higher Education Institution (NISpVU), the questionnaire was sent to students that enrolled undergraduate, graduate and integrated study programmes at higher education institutions in Croatia in the academic year 2012/2013. The target population consisted of students that completed undergraduate study programmes in the academic year 2015/2016.

The results show that students in Croatia are mostly satisfied with their studying experience, but have also identified certain aspects that demand an additional involvement of higher education institutions in order to take students’ satisfaction rate to a higher level.

Survey Conclusions

  • When it comes to students’ overall satisfaction and the analysis of their own education choices, the majority of respondents (73.7%) expressed some form of satisfaction with the study programmes, while part of the respondents expressed some form of dissatisfaction with the study programmes (of which only 2.2% expressed complete dissatisfaction).
  • The majority of respondents (96.2%) intend to complete the enrolled study programme, while 3.8% do not. Among those who intend to drop out, 51.7% has the intention to enrol another study programme.
  • The majority of respondents (73.6%) would enrol in the same study programme on the same higher education institution again, while 26.3% stated that they probably would not.
  • The majority of respondents (44.4%) think that the most important parts of the studying experience are the study programme’s content and structure.
  • 44% of the respondents expressed their wish for more opportunities for student practice and practical work during their studies.
  • The majority of the respondents stated that the most important factors for choosing a study programme are parents and family (22.2%), followed by the experience of other students (13.8%), while the less important factors include professional counselling and the help provided from the Croatian Employment Service (HZZ) (2.7%).
  • Half of the students (50.49%) at public higher education institutions think that teachers do not invest enough effort in motivating their students, while on the other hand 65.91% of students at private higher education institutions think that their teachers are adequately motivating them.
  • The majority of the respondents (59.88%) think that their higher education institution encourages students to participate in international mobility programmes. However, 16.03% of the surveyed students stated that they do not receive information about the possibilities of studying abroad from their higher education institution.

The conducted survey, while having some methodological limitations, brings a set of data concerning the needs, expectations, values and opinions of students regarding the studying process. Although the survey concentrates on only one student cohort, the collected data is helpful in many ways: they provide a ground-level insight on certain aspects of student experience, they are useful to the higher education institutions for the further development of student-centred study programmes and processes, and also represent a starting point for future surveys on student experience in accordance with recognized need and good international practice.