UTS Defends Low Student Satisfaction Ratings: “The Survey Was Rigged”

Tristan White

The University of Technology Sydney has attempted to play down recent charges it has the highest proportion of dissatisfied students of any university in Australia. Its tactic: denying students had complained to the university itself.

In response to a headline in the Sydney Morning Herald outlining the results of students’ surveyed satisfaction of Australian universities, a senior spokesperson for the UTS Board acknowledged they were “disappointed in the results,” but would not accept they were by any means reliable, because they believed the survey was “rigged”.

“This was a rigged survey, folks. Okay?” he proclaimed. “It’s a largely rigged system, and the extensive media coverage is another element of the University of Sydney’s campaign to take enrolments from UTS.”

The spokesperson said, in contrast to the survey’s negative result, there was much evidence suggesting students loved UTS. “We have students staying here all night to work on assignments, often only having 30 minutes of sleep in a computer lab. Students also give up their Saturday and Sunday to come in and study on the campus. They even come on Friday nights at 7:30pm and Saturdays to sit exams! If students didn’t like it here, they wouldn’t come!”

He also noted the only reason that the university was empty during the summer was because no subjects were available in that period. “We’ve had students lobbying us at every opportunity to start offering them summer subjects. Obviously, it’s because they love UTS so much that they want to spend another 4 months of the year here on-campus, instead of going to the beach, or to Europe,” he explained.

When Vertigo asked what direct feedback the UTS Board had received from students, the spokesperson claimed they had not seen or heard any negative comments themselves. “We don’t bother to read any of the triannual Student Feedback Survey comments, and we don’t advertise the student forums that we organize, so if students do have any negative opinions we are certainly not aware of them.”

Quickly changing the topic to mention other signs of satisfaction, the spokesperson said it seemed engineering students were the most content of the lot. “An engineering degree is advertised to be five years in length, but in practice the average duration is about seven. Students probably spread out their load so they can really savour all the university has to offer.”

“We even have a few subjects in the engineering faculty, such as Electronics and Circuits, lauded so much that over 50% of students come back and do them for a second time. We’ve had to bar them from taking it more than three times so we can let new students have their turn.”