Survey: Western still tops in best student experience

It’s quite the streak for Western with 11 straight years as tops in Canada when it comes to the most satisfied students, according to The Globe and Mail’s 2013 Canadian University report released Tuesday.

When it came to most-satisfied students, Western received an A, the only one awarded in the large universities category (more than 22,000 students). McMaster (A-) and Carleton (B+) would follow.

“It’s very gratifying to learn that our students continue to express satisfaction with the high-quality education they are receiving at Western,” said Amit Chakma, Western president. “In judging their overall experience, they say we deliver better than any other large research-intensive university in the country.

“All credit to this success belongs to the exceptional students, faculty and staff we attract to our campus. It’s embedded in our culture and something everyone takes a great deal of pride in.”

Overall, in the survey of more than 31,000 undergraduate students across the country, Western topped 11 of 19 categories – six led outright and five tied. These categories included such areas as instructor’s teaching style, buildings/facilities, residences, recreation/athletics and work-play balance.

Western led or tied for the lead in 14 categories last year.

This year’s 11 categories led, however, far outdistanced the nearest competition with Ryerson (5), McGill (4) and McMaster (4). Compared to the 2012 survey, Western would maintain or improve its grade in all 11 categories.

Most-satisfied students (A- in 2012 to A in 2013), student-faculty interaction (B+ to A-) and buildings/facilities (A to A+) saw gains; course registration (A- to B), reputation with employers (A+ to A), information technology (A- to B+) and city satisfaction(A to B+) saw slippage.

Western was given two of only four A+ rankings handed out in the entire report for buildings/facilities and recreation/athletics. The lowest marks given to Western were Bs in the areas of course registration, research opportunities and co-op internships.

“Western’s strong showing in this annual survey motivates our entire community to continually improve and seek new ways to enhance the student experience inside and outside the classroom,” Chakma said.

In the very small universities category (under 4,000), Western’s affiliated colleges fared well.

Huron University College was first or tied for first in six categories – most-satisfied students, reputation with employers, class size, recreation/athletics, libraries, research and information technology.

King’s University College was first or tied for first in five categories – most-satisfied students, reputation with employers, class size, recreation/athletics, libraries and course registration.