Exploring the Utility of the 2007 Canadian Graduate and Professional Student Survey: Student Satisfaction at the University of Western Ontario analyses the results of the 2007 Canadian Graduate and Professional Student Survey of 1,354 University of Western Ontario (UWO) students. Information was collected on a wide range of issues including:
• general satisfaction with the university, advisors, and field of study;
• satisfaction with the program, quality of interactions and coursework;
• professional skills development and research experience; and
• university resources and student life.
The analysis of the data at UWO is an attempt to capture current trends, identify relationships of interest and articulate a framework that will identify key strategic areas of focus to increase retention and graduation rates and enhance graduate student satisfaction.
Key findings from the report suggest that:
• The role of the advisor is significant in promoting and maintaining student satisfaction;
• The amount of coursework, overall quality of teaching and availability of courses are important drivers for satisfaction;
• Advice and workshops on career opportunities within academia are indispensable (although advice and workshop for career opportunities outside academia appeared to be less important);
• Students place higher value on library services than other university resources; and
• Degree type had some effect on student satisfaction whereas debt load, work and financial commitments, graduate division, year of study, sex, publication record and funding for conferences appeared to have little effect.
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About the Author:
Nicholas Spence holds a PhD in sociology from the University of Western Ontario. He has worked in Ottawa for the federal government, and he is currently an Adjunct Professor at the University of Western Ontario, affiliated with the department of sociology and the department of health sciences. His research expertise includes statistics and quantitative research methods, inequality/stratification, health and education.