Satisfied. Proud. Stressed-out. Student poll tells all.
Eight of ten are satisfied with student life at LiU and are proud of their university. But some feel they have a stressful situation and report financial worries.
LiUs recent "Satisfied Student Index" poll is the most thorough one conducted at any Swedish university. 12 000 students received the questionnaire and half of them replied.
79 percent report that they are happy to be a student at LiU; only seven percent report dissatisfaction. The satisfaction league is led by the future engineers of whom 85 percent report that student life is great. Fully 90 percent of those enrolled in the MSc programs in engineering biology and chemical biology give a thumbs-up.
Student life can have downsides as well. Every fourth respondent says that financial problems interfere with academic success, and an equal number report a feeling of substantial stress.
The poll indicates that around 40 percent of the students devote forty hours or more each week to their studies. Thirty percent put in less than 30. A third of the respondents have paid employment in parallel with their studies, usually less than ten hours a week.
Eight of ten find the required study pace sufficiently challenging, or challenging in a positive way (difficult but stimulating). Ten percent report that studies are too difficult, while eight percent say studies are too easy.
Three of ten would like to have an increase of the number of scheduled hours. This request came mostly from the Arts and Sciences students, of whom half would like to spend more hours in the classroom.
Every third student asks for improved feedback from their instructors.
"When we look closely at the questions and responses, we see that academic satisfaction rests on three main factors," says Anna Ullman, a representative of the polltaker company Synovate. "These factors are: perceived correspondence between studies and future employment, secondly, clear-cut statement of academic goals, and finally the instructor's ability to teach and inspire the students."
When queried about the physical qualities of their work environment, some asked for more places to be made available for individual study and group work, more eating areas, and more sites for relaxation and quiet rooms. Those enrolled at the Faculty of Health Sciences are most critical of the physical properties of their worksite.
LiUs campus libraries garner much praise from the students, though dissatisfaction with the support functions was voiced.
The student-run activities for introducing new students to campus life are popular. Eighty-five percent of the new students give a positive report of their introductory period and sixty percent give the intro events top grades.
Poll results are now being analyzed further so that necessary improvements can be made.
Last updated: 2009-06-03