It’s time to evaluate the academic environment at Aarhus University. With your answers in 2020, you contributed to improving the academic environment at AU and making a difference for yourself and your fellow students.
Since 2007, Aarhus University has performed a study environment survey every third year – most recently in 2017. In 2020, it was the first time that the survey was performed as an integrated part of the national survey carried out by the Ministry of Higher Education and Science.
In the questionnaire, you were asked about your academic and social well-being. A wide variety of topics were covered, including well-being, feedback, contact to your lecturers, physical infrastructure, stress and loneliness as well as bullying.
The survey was performed by Epinion on behalf of the Ministry of Higher Education and Science.
The study environment survey is an important tool to help the university provide a good environment for learning and study to all students.
The university actively takes steps to address the challenges the surveys bring to light. After the last survey in 2017, the University introduced a number of initiatives – here are a few examples:
The results are also used by the Ministry of Higher Education and Science in relation to:
AU's study environment survey is based on data collected by Epinion for the Ministry of Higher Education and Science and Aarhus University. Among other things, the results of the study form the basis for the university's teaching environment assessment, which is carried out every 3 years.
The survey is conducted in a 2-year cadence and was last conducted in the fall of 2020.
The questionnaire was sent to 33,381 full-time students at Aarhus University and 11,133 responded to the survey, giving an overall response rate of 33.4%.
In 2020, the survey results may be affected by corona restrictions and periodic lockdown of AU. The questionnaire survey was conducted from the 20th of October to the 15th of December 2020. During this time, the university was subject to a number of corona restrictions of importance to teaching, but was not physically shut down.
Following the spring lockdown, in the early summer of 2020, the university conducted a study of the transition to online teaching and exams. The purpose of the study was to draw lessons from these experiences in order to strengthen AU's forward-looking approach to digitised teaching and exams. Report and main conclusions can be found here: https://newsroom.au.dk/nyheder/vis/artikel/hvad-laerte-vi-af-foraarets-corona-undervisning.
Degree programme quality has been the subject of many discussions and attempts at definition in recent years. The ministry's student survey contains a question in which the students are asked to evaluate the overall quality of their degree programme. It should be noted that such an evaluation cannot, of course, be taken in isolation when assessing degree programme quality. Rather, the evaluation of the statement itself can be understood as an expression of the student’s immediate overall level of satisfaction with the degree programme in general.
Main findings: Quality
The quality of my programme is generally high:
Below are selected results from the student survey from autumn 2020, and deals with the respondents’ assessment of the educational and social environment, their general level of well-being on their programme, as well as their knowledge of where they get support and guidance if they are struggling.
Main findings: Study environment:
There is a good educational environment
There is a good social study environment
In general, I feel really good at my education
I know where to get support and guidance at my campus if I’m not well
Due to the coronavirus situation's impact on well-being, the ministry's 2020 student survey contains four questions concerning the coronavirus and the shutdown of the educational sector. The central issue is student well-being during the coronavirus pandemic, and both the shutdown last spring as well as daily life during the autumn, when the survey was conducted, are addressed.
Main findings: Well-being during the coronavirus pandemic
I had a hard time during the corona-shutdown in the spring:
The shutdown have not delayed me in my studies
Today, my everyday life in my study program works well despite the corona situation:
The Corona situation removes some of the joy of studiyng:
Loneliness is not a new problem among university students. For this reason, the topic was always addressed both in AU’s previous study environment surveys (SMU) and in the extensive student survey conducted by the Ministry of Higher Education and science every two years – most recently in the autumn of 2020.
Main findings: Loneliness
Have you experienced feeling lonely at your study?:
Stress has been high on the agenda in recent years. This applies to all aspects of our society, including the educational sector. For this reason, the topic has been addressed both in AU’s previous study environment surveys (SMU) and in the extensive student survey conducted by the Ministry of Higher Education and science every two years – most recently in the autumn of 2020.
In the above-mentioned surveys, students at AU were asked whether they have experienced severe stress symptoms in connection with their daily life as well as whether they have experienced severe stress symptoms in connection with exams. This year, a new question was added about the extent to which students have felt pressurised by a variety of different conditions recently. The conditions about which students were asked include both degree programme-related issues and non-degree programme-related issues.
Main findings: Stress
Feedback has been the subject of much discussion in recent years, and a question about feedback has been included in the Ministry's survey since 2016. In 2020, students at Aarhus University had the opportunity to respond to an additional four questions concerning feedback. This year’s student survey thus included a total of five questions about feedback. The questions fall under two categories and include three questions concerning the value of the feedback provided as well as two questions relating to the scope of the feedback provided.
Main findings: Feedback
Value of feedback
Amount of feedback:
Time on task (the amount of time students spend on their academic work for their degree programmes) has been much discussed in recent years. And students were asked to indicate how much time they spend on their respective degree programmes in the Ministry’s student survey. Time on task was included in the 2018 survey using the same methodology.
Main findings: Time on task
Since 2007, Aarhus University has been performing regular study environment surveys to take the temperature of students’ well-being.