Business students' views about their education

Year: 1994

Author: Sinclair, Kenneth E.

Type of paper: Abstract refereed

A survey was undertaken of a national sample of undergraduate students from the Faculties of Business and Commerce. The survey sought to provide comparisons between the educational attitudes of the students and those of university vice-chancellors and lecturers and business chief executive officers and managers which had been gathered in earlier surveys. Questions addressed related to objectives of secondary and university education, desired characteristics of graduates, standards achieved by graduates in those characteristics, assessment of courses and teaching, and desirability of business assistance in university education.

In agreement with the results of the earlier surveys, for both secondary and university education, the students ranked the development of general skills associated with communication, thinking and problem-solving, and co-operation and teamwork, as more important than general or professional knowledge learning, which in turn was rated as more important than learning specific skills and knowledge for the workplace. While they were pleased with the intellectual challenge of their university courses and the teaching skills of lecturers, they were critical of the "practical relevance and interest value" of their business courses. University staff, they agreed, should have had experience of work outside of education, and the degree program should contain a planned series of practical experiences in applying university learning in an actual work setting.