1,800 more students participated in the study environment survey

Forty-six per cent of Aarhus University students completed the university-wide study environment survey, an increase of 1,844 over the most recent survey in 2014. The Education Committee calls the result extremely satisfactory.

Friday 25 November was the last day for students to participate in the study environment survey. 15,491 students completed the survey, which investigates students’ physical and psychological well-being.

“This corresponds to an increase of six per cent, a result we can be quite pleased with. I’d like to thank all of the many students who took the time to complete the survey. This is decisive for the university’s ability to provide a good study environment and intervene effectively to address the greatest challenges,” says Berit Eika, pro-rector for education and chair of the Education Committee.

There are many possible explanations for why more students chose to participate in this year’s survey. One possible factor is that more students are concerned with issues of study environment quality and well-being. Another is stepped-up efforts to get students involved.

More departments and schools have made a special effort, such as the Department of Political Science, where students were promised cake at the annual department Christmas celebration if the response rate was higher than 60 per cent. Both political science and social science Bachelor’s degree students reached this goal, so they can look forward to a particularly enjoyable Christmas celebration. At the sport science programme, Thomas Munch, vice-chair of the board of studies, came up with a particularly creative incentive. His idea was to involve the sport science students in a collective competition: they competed as a team to beat both the other degree programmes and their own 2014 response rate of 28 per cent. Combined with a concerted effort to draw students’ attention to the survey – from social media to fliers in elevators, Munch’s competition almost doubled the response rate at the programme.

“I’m convinced that the many initiatives at the departments, schools and centres have the greatest effect, not least because the focus of the study environment survey is precisely the every-day experiences of students on their specific degree programmes,” Eika says, and continues:

“Some people may find it puzzling that we’re satisfied, considering that over half of the students did not participate. But we all know that questionnaires disappear from your inbox quickly. So it’s the increase that we find significant. We’re also pleased that the response rate for most degree programmes is high enough to provide a solid foundation for our continued efforts to provide a good study environment.”

The Centre for Teaching and Learning will now begin processing and analysing the data, after which the centre will prepare a university-wide report as well as a report for each of the four faculties. The results are expected to be published in early April 2017.

Read more about the study environment survey and read previous reports at au.dk/studiemiljo