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Are you enjoying your studies?

Study environment is in focus when an email with a link to this year’s large-scale study environment survey appears in your inbox on 24 October. Lecturers and managers encourage all students to complete the questionnaire. Students who participate can win one of four SONOS speakers or one of 40 pairs of cinema tickets.

2016.10.25 | Camilla Schrøder

Contact with lecturers, feedback, loneliness, workload, bullying and access to study spaces. These are some of the topics you will meet in the study environment survey which is intended to help ensure a good study environment at Aarhus University.

Pro-rector for Education Berit Eika encourages all students to complete the questionnaire.

“All students need a good study environment to flourish – academically as well as socially. The study environment survey is an important indicator in order to know where initiatives are required. Therefore, I hope that all students will take this opportunity to tell us what they experience and what they think about their study environment,” says Berit Eika.

The study environment survey, which is Aarhus University’s version of the statutory assessment of the educational environment, is now being carried out for the fourth time. The previous study environment survey was carried out in 2014. In general, the 2014 survey showed a very high level of satisfaction among students. However, the survey also identified challenges, e.g. in relation to stress, feedback, digital teaching and time spent on studying.

Will it change anything to complete the questionnaire?

Since then, the individual degree programmes have worked on various initiatives depending on the specific local challenges. Examples of such initiatives include mentor schemes, improved access to places where study groups can meet as well as improved conditions for feedback from teaching staff. At university level, the focus has primarily been on well-being and digitisation e.g. by upgrading studentwelfare.au.dk and the use of Blackboard. 

AU’s survey is the most extensive in Denmark and the response rate of about 40 per cent is generally higher than for similar surveys at other institutions in Denmark. Nonetheless, the ambition is to get even more students to complete the questionnaire.

“We are very happy and proud to have such committed students – and we do not take that for granted. Therefore, we have intensified the focus and made the questionnaire shorter and improved its structure in order to get even more students to complete the questionnaire. It takes ten minutes – and these ten minutes may be essential for the development work in the local academic environments as well as at faculty and university level,” says Berit Eika.

An email will be sent to all students with a link which can be used to access the survey. This year, it is also possible to access the questionnaire through Blackboard and reminders will be sent out regularly before the survey deadline.

As in previous years, the Centre for Teaching and Learning (CUL) is responsible for the survey. The survey is expected to include responses from more than 13,000 students, and the results will be published on the AU website in spring 2017.


How to participate

  • The electronic questionnaire will be sent out to students by email on 24 October (AU email or private email address)
  • It takes ten minutes to complete the questionnaire online
  • It is also possible to use Blackboard to access the questionnaire 
  • Lots will be drawn for four SONOS – Play:1 speakers or 40 x 2 cinema tickets
  • Find additional information at the study environment website http://www.au.dk/en/study-environment-survey/ (which will be updated on a regular basis).
     

Facts about the study environment survey

  • At Aarhus University, the study environment was surveyed in 2007 (in Danish), 2011 (in Danish) and 2014.
  • Since the introduction of the Educational Environment Act in 2004 (in Danish), all Danish universities have been under an obligation to conduct this type of survey.
  • The study environment survey is anchored in the Education Committee with the participation of the boards of studies and the Student Council. Other student political organisations have also been invited to participate in the process.
  • The results are expected to be published in the spring of 2017. Based on the reports, the individual degree programmes will prepare action plans in the areas where it is possible and required to launch initiatives.
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