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Vol 39  No 13
Apr. 26, 2007


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Maclean’s surveys student satisfaction
by David Sorensen

An overwhelming number of Memorial students – 94 per cent – would recommend the university to other students. This is just one in a series of findings in a group of opinion surveys recently published by Maclean’s magazine.

Maclean’s combined a number of student surveys, and conducted one of its own, to get a comprehensive picture of the attitudes of postsecondary students in Canada.

The Canadian magazine presented the results of the National Survey of Student Engagement, or NSSE, a long-standing American student survey; a Canadian survey known as the Canadian Undergraduate Survey Consortium (CUSC); and a survey conducted by Maclean’s to cover off the small number of universities that took part in neither NSSE nor CUSC.

Memorial is one of nine Canadian universities that did not take part in the 2006 CUSC or NSSE surveys. To provide readers with feedback from their students, last January Maclean’s asked those universities to invite their students to take part in a web-based survey based on the CUSC, using CUSC methodology and CUSC questions. Eight of the nine universities, including Memorial, agreed.

Paul Chancey, director of Memorial’s Centre for Institutional Analysis and Planning (CIAP), said that while Memorial did not participate in the CUSC or NSSE surveys last year, Memorial will be participating in the NSSE the next time it is administered.

“We considered involvement in the current year but the administration of the survey requires that all students have an official university e-mail address,” he said. “I understand this is in the process of being implemented. The other issue was that most Canadian universities participate in NSSE every second year and this is the ‘off’ year. We wanted to be in synch with the rest of the country in our participation patterns so we can have good comparative data.”

Meanwhile, the survey results indicate that Memorial students are generally satisfied with the quality of education they are receiving, and pleased with their decision to attend. About 95 per cent of students said they were either very satisfied or satisfied with the quality of education they have received at Memorial; the same percentage said they were satisfied or very satisfied with their decision to attend the university.

President Axel Meisen said he was pleased with the results of the survey and is looking forward to participating in the NSSE and CUSC surveys next year.

“We welcome these surveys because they can lead us to improving services for our students,” said Dr. Meisen. “We want them to be highly satisfied with the education and experience that they receive at Memorial University. At the same time, we recognize that the surveys have some limitations and we confirm the appropriateness of our actions before undertaking them.”

Other results include:

Percentage of students who agree or strongly agree that their academic learning experience has been intellectually stimulating – 93 per cent.

Percentage who agree or strongly agree that they are satisfied with the quality of teaching they receive – 94 per cent.

Percentage who say their experience exceeded or met their expectations – 91 per cent.

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