Western’s results on the National Survey of Student Engagement fell near the middle on each measure of satisfaction.
The National Survey of Student Engagement measures student overall engagement and educational practices at Canadian universities. Higher scores indicate superior student satisfaction.
In its 2018 assessment, MacLean’s reported on several key measures: learning strategies, collaborative learning, supportive environment and student-faculty interactions. The survey also examined student satisfaction, comparing the results of first-year respondents with senior year respondents.
Notably, Western University students’ reported levels of satisfaction with their entire education experience declined between first and senior year respondents.
Respondents were asked if they would attend the institution they are currently attending, if they could start over — 41 per cent of first-year students responded “definitely yes,” while 46 per cent responded “probably yes.”
These results stand in contrast to the 38 per cent and 41 per cent of senior year students who responded “definitely yes” and “probably yes,” respectively.
While Western students’ levels of engagement fall near the middle on each measure of student engagement, Quest University's ratings came out on top on almost every measure of satisfaction. Quest University is located in British Columbia and is a private institution of approximately 600 students.
According to vice-provost, John Doerksen, MacLean’s does not indicate the statistical significance of between values indicated on this survey.
Western also ranked below Brescia University College on the “supportive environment” measure. On top of that, Western reported a marked decline between the 33 per cent of first-year students and 29 per cent of senior year students who reported satisfaction in this regard.
Doerksen stated that all four campuses at Western put significant investments into student services to foster a supportive environment.
Further, Doerksen hopes that students will benefit from new mental health initiatives. He stressed that “the university is oriented to respond to the needs that students have.”
He cited additional examples of student-focused initiatives, which include such projects as the introduction of the Fall Reading Week and the creation of the “Draft my Schedule” service.
Doerksen drew attention to these initiatives as ones that were implemented to “help students have the most effective path through their education here at Western.”