Journal Article

The determinants of degree programme satisfaction

February 1, 2020

Studies in Higher Education

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Using a unique European dataset for graduates, this paper examines the determinants of college satisfaction and investigates the relative importance of human capital, course composition, and subsequent employment outcomes. We find that aspects of the degree programme related to the mode of teaching and personal development were considerably more important in determining college satisfaction, relative to the field of study, or the subsequent jobs that they obtained. Our results highlight that practical learning approaches and an experience that enhances non-cognitive personal development (NCPD) are some of the course attributes most valued by students retrospectively. Therefore, universities can enhance the quality of student experiences, and also equip them with aspects of human capital allowing them to prosper within the labour market, with an increased focus on both applied learning experiences and non-cognitive personal development.