Is the university experience worse than 40 years ago?

”I don’t think the university experience is nearly as good for students as it was 40 years ago. There are a number of changes, but most important is teaching is taken much less seriously than it used to be.”

– Robert Manne, The Age, 19 January 2013

I suspect he’s right that senior academics spend less time talking to and mentoring the most intellectually engaged and able undergraduate students than they did 30 or 40 years ago. But for the average student academics generally probably do a better job of organising and presenting their course materials, and this is showing in increased student satisfaction with teaching.

The data is from the Course Experience Questionnaire, run by Graduate Careers Australia. The figure appears in the 2013 edition of Mapping Australian higher education, to be released tomorrow night. (Update: out now.)