The NSS can affect recruitment as it provides future applicants with a view of the programme that considers a variety of elements including teaching, assessment and feedback and academic support (National Student Survey, 2018b). It can change future education for new students, wielding current students with a role of power and influence (Morgan, 2012, p.148).Dean and Gibbs (2014, p.6-7) identify that the introduction of tuition fees has resulted in students developing into a more demanding consumer.
However, dependent on the quality of teaching the student has previously experienced, there is no guarantee that an applicant has good critical thinking skills if they have for example studied an A’level in Ethics and Philosophy.
A high grade in an A’level in Ethics and Philosophy may be a good indicator of critical thinking as intelligence is identifiably linked to critical thinking (Mc Peck, 2016, p.35).
Race (2014) argues in the end, it is the development of study skills, such as critical thinking that will align with academic success.
Therefore, if secondary schools are failing to develop critical thinking skills, then universities need to ensure these skills are developed.
However, the measurement of student satisfaction is not representative of students’ acquisition of knowledge, or skills such as critical thinking.
They argue that universities should work towards enhancing the student experience, rather than focus on processes; that satisfaction does not equate to student happiness (Dean and Gibbs, 2014, p.16).
Healthcare professionals are often working in challenging environments that require a critical way of thinking (Aveyard et al; 2015, p.102).
Occupational therapy professional reasoning includes the ability to critically think, deciding on what is the best intervention for a client and being able to justify decisions.
These elements are measured via metrics such as employability, under the Teaching Excellence Framework (TEF); and are therefore of great importance to higher education providers aspiring to achieve Gold status (Department of Education, 2017, p.68).
This TEF judgement will potentially influence students’ decisions on where to study in addition to higher education student satisfaction which is measured through the National Student Survey (NSS).