(Original post by Marc Fiorano)
I think you'll find that the general trend of these satisfaction surveys is the higher ranked unis having a surprisingly low satisfaction level. There are many reasons for this:
1. Students of these unis don't particularly have the 'fun uni experience', academia is priority and if it isn't, the workload will make it their priority.
2. The teaching at unis where the best students attend tends to be nothing more than a bit of guidance. Independent learning is expected, don't be surprised if in some courses the lecturer just comes in and tells you what topics you need to learn and then leaves the room. There will be no spoon feeding, and to students this comes across as 'poor teaching' or as if the lecturers aren't bothered.
3. The professors at these unis tend to be of a higher profile, they're either involved in very important work or have various other roles to which the teaching comes secondary. So generally they will have less time to attend students' individual needs.
4. I can only speak of Imperial but basically the work is considerably difficult. You get straight A students coming in, finding it impossible and dropping out. It's not a case of if you're bright and hard working which led to successful A-levels you will do equally well here. Students often don't end up performing at the level they've been used to their whole academic life, guess what they like to blame it on? The teaching. Thus, they are unsatisfied.
I've only studied at Imperial so I can't provide a comparative perspective, what's 'good' teaching and what's 'bad'? What's the reference point by which we judge all this by? What we may consider bad teaching here, may well turn out to be the best teaching in the country compared to other unis.
The only thing I will say is that the uni is not short of staff or resources, if they wanted to spoon feed you they could. The philosophy here is different, as I'm sure it is at many other places, they only want to give you the bare minimum, the foundation so to speak, for you to then build on that knowledge independently and succeed.