U of M encourages students to take part in survey

Cash prizes offered for early completion of survey measuring student engagement

Some University of Manitoba students received an email earlier this month linking to the National Survey of Student Engagement (NSSE), a survey distributed to undergraduate and senior students across Canada and the United States to gather feedback about their engagement with their university experience.

The survey is sent out every three years. It measures engagement using 10 “engagement indicators” in four key areas — academic challenge, collaborative learning with peers, interactions with faculty and campus environments.

The results of the survey help schools identify areas of strength and areas for improvement.

The last NSSE was completed in 2020. Since then, the University of Manitoba has made changes to life on campus to help improve students’ experiences, including the development of a new University Health Service, a Multifaith Centre and a Safer Social Events Team, as well as the launch of UM Connect and UM Commons.

The deadline to complete the NSSE is May 14.

To help increase student involvement and participation in the NSSE, the University of Manitoba is offering prizes to students who complete the survey early.

Any eligible students who submit their answers by April 3 will be entered to win a $1,000 cash prize, one of three $250 prizes, one of five UM Bookstore gift certificates with a value of $100 and one of 10 bookstore certificates of $50.

Vice-provost (students) Laurie Schnarr said that the survey helps the U of M make “data- informed decisions” and discern how students feel about their university experience, as well as which areas they think need improvement going into the future.

“Hopefully it helps students to really reflect on […] their experience at the University of Manitoba and feel like, by participating, they’re helping to shape the campus environment,” she said.

Schnarr said that new initiatives like the Safer Social Events Team have received positive feedback from students and student groups. The Safer Social Events Team attends large-scale social functions that may serve alcohol in order to support students and ensure that the event is safe.

Schnarr also said that the university has faced some challenges distributing links to students to access the survey. Schnarr recommended that students go to the NSSE website and complete the survey there if they haven’t received a link.

UMSU vice-president student life Tracy Karuhogo said that the results of the survey can assist UMSU in advocating for students’ needs.

The survey also gives UMSU an idea of what areas they can improve on to ensure that students feel like a part of campus life.

“I think, from the results, we shall see if students feel like they are getting enough out of their clubs and associations, and see which areas we can do better to make sure that students are involved in their community and not just only in academics,” she said.

Karuhogo added that she thought this year’s survey is particularly important, as this is the first year it has been done since the return to in-person classes.

“I definitely feel that this survey would really give us a good path forward to go with, because students have had a year back to in-person after COVID, and now they know what exactly is missing, what needs to be changed,” she said.