Campus climate survey at the U of S highlights student experiences

Last fall more than 5,200 students at the University of Saskatchewan shared their thoughts on how welcome, respected and supported they feel on campus in the first ever campus climate survey. The findings were released today in a comprehensive report.

"The results are positive overall," said Patti McDougall, vice-provost teaching and learning at the University of Saskatchewan. "But we also identified key areas where we can make improvements. One of the key survey outcomes for us is that we can begin to understand why some students tend to rate their overall experience lower than other peers."

The survey included questions in five main areas: overall campus climate; campus experiences; classroom experiences and interactions with staff and faculty; helpfulness of support services and how to improve the campus climate.

Highlights of the results include:

Eighty-five per cent of students felt that regardless of gender, sexual orientation, race, ethnicity, or ability, everyone has an equal opportunity to succeed at the U of S.Those reporting less positive campus experiences were more often students who self-identified as Aboriginal and sexual minority students, as well as those indicating a disability.
Eighty-nine per cent of students felt they were treated fairly by professors and 90 per cent felt they were treated fairly by staff.
Small proportions of students indicated they had experienced harassment (six per cent), exclusion (11 per cent) or discrimination (11 per cent).
All student centres received ratings of 3.5 out of 5 or higher, suggesting students are satisfied with the services they have used.
On average, students indicating a mental health condition had fewer positive experiences than all other students.

"Based on results, the university now needs to dig down a little deeper to determine where changes need to be made and which of these changes are the most pressing," McDougall said. "One area I'm interested in learning more about is the factors that lead students in certain groups to be less satisfied than others."

McDougall will spend the next few months meeting with key members of the campus community who work directly with students to get their thoughts and opinions on the results, as well as input on where the university should focus its attention. An implementation plan, outlining a series of actions to be taken, will be shared in the spring.

"The information we have gathered through this survey, along with conversations in the coming months, will directly inform how we support our students moving forward, and where we need to invest time and energy," said McDougall.

Full survey results are available at


For more information, contact:

Jennifer Robertson

Communications Officer

Institutional Planning and Assessment, University of Saskatchewan

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