Globe survey validates 'Canada's best student experience'
Last week (October 16), Western faculty, staff, students and alumni had good reason to celebrate the results of the Globe and Mail’s sixth annual University Report Card.
Just as we have in each of the previous five years that the Globe has asked students to rate their experience at universities across the country, Western has once again earned the highest grades among Canada’s large research-intensive universities.
This year’s survey, conducted by The Strategic Counsel and Educational Policy Institute, reflects the opinions of more than 43,000 students at 53 universities—the largest sample group yet. Current students were asked to rate their schools on 78 measures, ranging from the quality of teaching and attractiveness of campus, to the quality of our facilities, residences, food and other support services.
Of these 78 measures, Western ranked first overall in 33 categories, tied for first in another 24 categories, and earned a total of five A-pluses, 20 straight A’s , and 19 A-minuses. For a complete list of how students graded Western in all 78 categories, visit the Resource Centre on the Globe’s Education page at http://www.theglobeandmail.com/education
Such high ratings from our students are due largely to the talent, effort, commitment and dedication of faculty and staff across our campus, and I wish to extend my sincere thanks and congratulations to each of you. There is no better measure of how we are doing in pursuit of our University’s mission to provide Canada’s best student experience than the opinions of our students. And for six consecutive years now, our students have told us we combine a first-rate education with a great campus life better than any other large school in the country.
Other indications that we are succeeding in the pursuit of our mission can be found in the results of another survey also released last week—Western’s own Survey of Graduating Students: 2006-07. More than 1,600 graduating students responded to the 16-item questionnaire administered by the Office of the Provost and Vice-President (Academic). As it has for more than a decade now, the survey asked graduating students to rate their satisfaction with the quality of instruction, academic courses and programs, physical facilities and administrative services, and several other aspects of their university experience.
More than 80 per cent of this year’s respondents rated their overall satisfaction with the education they received at Western as a 4 or 5 on a five-point scale, just slightly higher than last year’s result. As well, more than 91 per cent of our most recent graduates said they would recommend Western to a friend, which suggests a high degree of satisfaction with their student experience.
In addition to highlighting our strengths, both the Globe survey and our internal survey of students are helpful in pointing out areas for continued improvement. For example, career services and financial and scholarship services are two such areas where students have expressed only moderate satisfaction, and these are areas that our strategic plan has identified for increased attention and investment.
The consistency of the results we continue to see from these surveys reinforces our belief on campus that there is something genuinely special about the campus community at Western—it is a truly unique place to study and learn, all thanks to the contributions of our faculty, staff, students and alumni . As Sean Junor of the Educational Policy Institute told the Globe and Mail: “Western is the one large school that is managing to balance both student engagement and research. That’s tough to do.”
For more stories and reaction, please pick up a copy of this week’s Western News for a special insert on the Globe survey. Online stories can also be found at:
Western gets top marks in new university survey by CTV.ca news staff, CTV.ca, October 16, 2007: http://communications.uwo.ca/making_headlines/coverage/071016-1.htm
How Western stays on top by Elizabeth Church, Globe and Mail, October 16, 2007: http://communications.uwo.ca/making_headlines/coverage/071016-2.htm
Western gets an A in student satisfaction by Jennifer O’Brien, London Free Press, October 17, 2007: http://communications.uwo.ca/making_headlines/coverage/071017-3.htm