Students cannot be treated all the same and neither assume that what has been delivered before will enable students to achieve academic success (Morgan, 2012).
What can be analysed, is that student’s happiness will have an impact on the outcome of the NSS.
Therefore, it is important for higher education providers to ensure they support and develop students’ knowledge and skills in order for them to thrive, such as critical thinking skills.
Student engagement is an important issue in acquiring critical thinking skills; this can be influenced by many factors.
Yet, overall there is a rise of first-class honours being awarded to undergraduate students (Adams, 2018).
This places pressure on undergraduate students to do well academically and achieve first-class honours.Mc Peck (2016) p.58 declares that secondary schools within disciplinary subjects are failing to develop critical thinking, moreover, teaching factually, rather than conceptually.Therefore, students are obtaining knowledge but are not developing the questioning/reasoning aspect linked to critical thinking.This, in turn makes it difficult to achieve academic success within higher education.Some studies suggest this is common with non-traditional students, those studying alternative studies to A’levels (Moon, 2008, p.108).The development and support of academic skills are paramount in the academic success of students.These skills could be developed earlier than higher education, through secondary education.There is an expectation that university programmes will deliver teaching excellence, ensuring that programmes are well designed, supportive to students, enabling the development of skills that will lead to employment, such as working in teams, and notably critical thinking (Department for Business, Innovation and Skills, 2016, p.43).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).Students work hard and can often be disappointed when they do not achieve the high grades which they expect.This in turn can affect their mental health (Moon, 2009, p.163-4).