You are here


Press room

New report examines UK’s pedagogical landscape

May 8, 2019

SAGE Publishing and Gold Leaf release major study of the UK higher education pedagogical environment

How students, faculty and librarians interact with pedagogical resources is changing. But how is this impacting on learning? How is this influencing the type of resources being used in the present-day classroom, and more widely, what impact will factors such as the TEF and Brexit have on the acquisition and deployment of pedagogical resources and educational technology?

This report, How are Students and Lectures Using Educational Resources Today, commissioned by SAGE Publishing and conducted by Gold Leaf, published today, offers analysis to help understand trends and practices driving the positive impact of pedagogy on student success in the UK HE environment. The biggest findings include:

  • 82% of academics, 62% of librarians and 45% of students surveyed said the approach to pedagogy had changed at their institution.
  • The use of the flipped classroom, and an increased focus on technology-enhanced learning were the mostmentioned catalysts for change, together with concern over existing teaching standards.
  • Textbooks (both print and electronic) and journals continue to be the most listed resources mentioned by academics, librarians and students.
  • Data from a textbook aggregator revealed that about 50% of learners use the web reader on the aggregator’s own platform, with about 25% using an Apple mobile device (iPads or iPhones). For students frequently on placements (such as in Education or Nursing) mobile devices play a big role in accessing content and students are more likely to access content offline.
  • 20% of librarians feel students need stronger information literacy support, while 20% of academics believe that stronger study skills are needed. 22% of students believe that they need no additional support.
  • The research found no major differences between how Russell Group and other universities use resources.

Gold Leaf conducted over 15 months of research leading up to February 2019 to form the basis of this report. The multi-methodology research involved a review of relevant literature, analysis of existing data from a university library and an aggregator, as well as opt-in, snowball-recruited online surveys with 399 UK academics, 79 UK librarians and 108 UK students. Qualitative ‘deep dives’ at five universities (Greenwich, Huddersfield, Nottingham, Edinburgh and Surrey) involved  semi-structured telephone interviews with academics and librarians and six focus groups with undergraduates.


The full report is available here, and a summary here



About SAGE Publishing

Sara Miller McCune founded SAGE Publishing in 1965 to support the dissemination of usable knowledge and educate a global community. SAGE is a leading international provider of innovative, high-quality content publishing more than 1,000 journals and over 800 new books each year, spanning a wide range of subject areas. Our growing selection of library products includes archives, data, case studies and video. SAGE remains majority owned by our founder and after her lifetime will become owned by a charitable trust that secures the company’s continued independence. Principal offices are located in Los Angeles, London, New Delhi, Singapore, Washington DC and Melbourne.

About Gold Leaf

Gold Leaf was set up in 2001 to provide business development support and market research to the academic publishing and academic librarian communities as well as academia itself.  It has published several important studies about pedagogies, electronic resource provision and the changing role of libraries as well as many bespoke reports for individual clients. Gold Leaf facilitates a number of librarian advisory boards worldwide.  More information about Gold Leaf may be found at

Contact (media inquiries only)

Yearly archive
2020 (3)
2019 (45)
2018 (83)
2017 (97)
2016 (133)
2015 (150)
2014 (145)