Search Results Where are students learning the most? A study of 610 universities suggests that smaller schools are best–and finds Canadian universities falling short of their U.S. peers

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It’s mid-January, a couple of weeks after the Christmas break, and Mark Woodcroft, a fourth-year biochemistry major at Trent University, is hanging out in the lab with professor even Rafferty, his research supervisor and chair of Trent’s chemistry department. Woodcroft is doing what many Canadian undergraduates never get a chance to do: an independent research project under faculty supervision.

So, a reporter asks, what’s your research project about? Woodcroft casts a sly smile at his profand then launches deadpan into an explanation of the “bioaccumulation of per-fluorinated carboxylic acids.” His audience predictably befuddled, Woodcroft stops mid-sentence. He and Rafferty chuckle in unison. It sounds like a well-rehearsed routine. Not something many 22-year-olds get to cook up with a professor.

In upper-year courses, the class size is small enough for a professor to know each student by name,” says Woodcroft. “I also know everyone in my program by name. I doubt many students at a larger school can say that.”

Personal contact with faculty members, a sense of community among undergrads, and classes that push students to their intellectual limits–these are all things that many undergraduate students desire. Research suggests that these also promote learning; in the language of the National Survey of Student Engagement, these and other aspects of student engagement are “correlates of quality.” And according to the NSSE Benchmarks of Effective Educational Practice results appearing on the following pages (see pages 102 to 106), undergraduate educational quality at Canadian universities with only a few exceptions–is below that of American universities.


On the following pages, you will also find results from the Canadian Undergraduate Survey Consortium, or CUSC, a Canada-only survey that is much more tilted toward assessing student satisfaction. In 2007, CUSC surveyed first-year students at 32 universities. The answers to two key CUSC student satisfaction questions are featured on page 108. NSSE asked two student satisfaction questions as well; the results for those questions are also published here. You can find results for seven additional CUSC student satisfaction questions on our website, at

While undergraduate student satisfaction remains relatively high at Canadian institutions, the NSSE benchmark results suggest a different story: satisfied or not, many Canadian university campuses are not as engaging and may not be offering as good an educational experience as their American peers. And the problem is particularly pronounced at Canada’s large research universities–the schools educating the overwhelming majority of Canadian undergrads.

The American-based NSSE survey is a tool widely used by universities to analyze, benchmark and improve their institutional performance. Since 1999, the American-based NSSE (pronounced “Nessie”) has been conducting its survey on a growing number of campuses, and calculating its Benchmarks of Effective Educational Practice for each participating school. Beginning in 2004, a growing number of Canadian universities began to take part in NSSE. The biggest push came from Bob Rae’s 2005 review of post secondary education in Ontario. Rae called on the province to establish measures for evaluating quality and publicly reporting on system performance. In his review, Rae asked, “How are we doing? How are others doing? Is there a jurisdiction that does it better?” His conclusion: “We simply don’t know enough about how we are doing or how others are doing.” To this end, Rae recommended that all Ontario universities participate in NSSE. All Ontario universities have done so over the past two years, and most universities in the rest of the country have joined them. Several of the 47 universities that Maclean’s surveys in its annual rankings of Canadian universities have never participated in NSSE; they include Bishop’s University, Cape Breton University, St. Francis Xavier University, Memorial University, Universite de Moncton and Universite de Sherbrooke.

Most universities on both sides of the border initially kept their NSSE and CUSC reports confidential or only released selected bits of information; it was only after Maclean’s, backed by the power of provincial access to information laws, began asking for NSSE and CUSC results that all Canadian universities went public.

On the following pages, you will find results for 41 Canadian institutions that participated in NSSE in 2005, 2006 or 2007. NSSE asks first-year and fourth-year undergraduates at participating schools nearly 100 questions about what they have been doing during their university careers. It is not a student satisfaction survey; it asks students to report on the mechanics of their classes, student habits and life at university. The questions–from how often they met outside of class with faculty members to how often they were involved in group work with other students–cover aspects of educational practice that have been shown to promote student engagement, which itself has been shown to promote more and better learning.

For example, faculty-supervised, independent research projects like the one undertaken by Woodcroft would have helped to boost a university’s Student-Faculty Interaction, Enriching Educational Experiences and Level of Academic Challenge benchmark scores.

What’s important to stress is that NSSE doesn’t directly measure learning outcomes. It measures engagement,” says Ken Norrie of the Higher Education Quality Council of Ontario (HEQCO), which advises government on improving all aspects of post-secondary education, including quality, access and accountability. “If you believe in years of research that engagement is consistently highly correlated with learning outcomes, and we can measure engagement through something like the NSSE survey, then we have a proxy for learning outcomes that you can roughly associate with learning quality.”

So what do the NSSE benchmarks tell us about the undergraduate learning experience at Canadian universities? A good number of Canadian universities–mostly smaller, primarily undergraduate institutions, but including larger institutions such as Ryerson, Queen’s and McMaster–met or exceeded the 2007 NSSE Level of Academic Challenge benchmark average of the results from 610 mostly American universities. The academic challenge benchmark is made up of questions covering areas such as how much time students spent preparing for class, the number of textbooks assigned, number of written papers assigned, and coursework that emphasizes analyzing and synthesizing ideas.

A fair number of Canadian universities–again, mostly smaller institutions–also exceeded the NSSE benchmark for Supportive Campus Environment. The supportive campus environment benchmark focuses on whether the campus provides the support students need to succeed academically and thrive socially, and assesses the quality of students’ relationships with their peers, professors and the administration.

But on the remaining three benchmarks few Canadian universities met the American standard. A handful of small, primarily undergraduate schools, led by Mount Allison University and Acadia University, are among those that consistently exceeded their American peers. Interestingly, while the University of Western Ontario did not register above-average scores, two of Western’s affiliated colleges–Huron and Brescia–scored highly in all areas.

The Student-Faculty Interaction benchmark–where no Canadian university exceeded the NSSE first-year benchmark and only three surpassed the fourth-year average–focuses on the different ways that students interact with faculty members inside and outside of the classroom. Students are asked, for example, whether they have worked with a professor on activities outside of coursework, talked about career plans with a faculty member, received prompt feedback from faculty on their academic performance and worked with a faculty member on a research project.

The overwhelming majority of Canadian students attend large, research-focused universities. Can institutions of such size offer top-level undergraduate experiences, as defined by NSSE? Results from the University of Michigan, a giant public university that is also one of America’s leading research powerhouses, suggests that it is possible.

What is Michigan doing right in undergraduate education? Earlier this decade, Michigan was one of 20 American universities identified by NSSE as having outperformed on the NSSE benchmarks. A NSSE-commissioned study visited each of the outperforming campuses to find out what practices were leading to those high NSSE benchmark scores. For example, explaining Michigan’s success on the Student-Faculty Interaction benchmark, the study cited Michigan’s small classes and research opportunities in first year; programs that encourage students and faculty to eat meals together; mentorship programs; extensive email contact between students and faculty; and professors’ offices that are located in residences. On the Level of Academic Challenge bench mark, the study pointed to a commitment to excellence that permeates the entire Michigan campus: faculty resistance to grade inflation, introductory courses designed to challenge students’ ability to problem solve, and small classes that encourage active learning and challenge students to develop critical thinking and independence in carrying out research projects.

NSSE director Alex McCormick says while universities can use NSSE to improve, “these are things that take some intentional effort to move the needle on. It’s not quite as simple as stepping on the accelerator in your car.” And while he believes that universities can learn a lot about best practices from one another, he cautions that it’s not always easy to make direct comparisons. Schools that enrol a large number of adults or commuters, for example, are likely to have lower scores because students have less time to spend on campus and, as a result, tend to be less engaged than traditional undergrads living on campus. Yet the same school’s more traditional undergraduate population may be just as engaged as undergrads at other campuses. “There is a robust body of evidence that shows that the vast majority of the variation in individual student scores is within institutions, not between institutions,” says McCormick. “So if you look at all the individual students that are surveyed and look at variation in their responses to the NSSE items, about 90 per cent of that variation occurs within institutions and only about 10 per cent is between institutions.” As a result, says McCormick, “distilling it down to a number or set of numbers for an institution” may mask variations among departments or faculties at the same university. McCormick says that NSSE needs to find ways “to help institutional leaders look more deeply into variations within their walls.” In other words, the really interesting story may be one like that of the benchmark scores from Western’s affiliate colleges, which are above those of Western itself.

Norrie of Ontario’s HEQCO sees a similar promise in NSSE. Canadian universities are mostly still in the early stages of drilling down to examine variations among faculties, departments, courses and even gender and ethnic background. But Norrie says he regularly hears from university administrators who have hit on revealing findings. “When you start doing variations in NSSE results across faculties or departments, and you find some interesting variations, you say, ‘Okay, what’s going on?‘” says Norrie. “And that gets you into a conversation about what explains the variation and the different ways of teaching and learning.”

Phil Wood, associate vice-president of student affairs at McMaster University, has established his own mini-benchmark from a set of 16 NSSE questions that zero in on an area of particular interest to him: student growth and development. Because Wood oversees student services, he’s interested in figuring out things like: is it beneficial for a student to live in residence? Do students living in residence report higher NSSE engagement scores and higher scores on his mini-benchmark?

In 2005, the University of Toronto–an institution that is in many ways similar to the University of Michigan in terms of its vast size and the quality and breadth of the graduate and research programs it offers-hired American Tony Chambers to fill a newly created position, associate vice-provost of students. Having worked at post-secondary institutions in both countries, Chambers is often called upon to discuss the uses, and limits, of NSSE, particularly in the Canadian context.

“The systems are considerably and extremely

nuanced, and I think for us to compare what happens in the States to what happens in Canada is sort of a worthless analysis, to be quite honest,” says Chambers. “It gives us a sense of what institutions are doing, for sure, where we can make some decisions at an institutional level, but in terms of systems of education, I don’t think the analysis is worth a whole lot, quite honestly.”

Chambers says that some NSSE questions use terms not in wide currency in Canada, or terms that some students may interpret differently than their American peers. This could affect the answers offered by Canadians.

Despite its limitations, NSSE is proving to be a valuable diagnostic tool for Canadian universities. Back at Trent, president Bonnie Patterson says NSSE has helped to validate what she and her colleagues already knew: that Trent is a smaller, tighter-knit campus, where students experience a good number of small classes, with professors who will probably know them by their first name, and opportunities to do research or independent study with a faculty member.

For Patterson, NSSE’s added value is that it offers comparisons among institutions, and highlights areas needing improvement. Partly in response to its findings, Patterson says that Trent has channelled resources into five key areas, including library resources and technology in the classroom. “There is always a much longer list of what you can’t do than the list of what you can do,” she says. “Would I have loved to put money into hiring another 15 or 20 faculty members? You bet. You have to find the balance of what makes you successful in student opinion and in satisfaction and what makes you successful in learning outcomes, but at the same time trying to be responsive to them almost from a consumer perspective.”

All Canadian universities struggle with trade-offs: whether to hire more professors or build an athletic complex; upgrade labs, fund new research or offer more undergrad course selection. Like Patterson, university administrators say that surveys such as NSSE and CUSC have helped in that process. “It validates, it informs, it gives us a better insight into the detail of issues,” says Patterson. “Rather than our own serendipitous, ad hoc examples or anecdotes, it gives you large opinion pieces that we didn’t have before we got into these surveys.”

Want to see more student survey results? For additional questions from the CUSC survey of university students, as well as data from past NSSE and CUSC surveys, please visit and click on “Rankings.” You can also find college student surveys, covering the opinions of more than 150,000 students at 45 Canadian colleges. Visit and click on “Colleges.”



The following pages contain the results from two major student surveys: the National Survey of Student Engagement (NSSE) and the Canadian Undergraduate Survey Consortium (CUSC). The NSSE and CUSC surveys, which were commissioned by the universities, ask more than 150 questions about specific aspects of the undergraduate experience–inside the classroom and beyond–designed to provide universities with data to help them assess programs and services.

The U.S.-based NSSE began in 1999 and is distributed to first- and senior-year students. NSSE is not primarily a student satisfaction survey, but is rather a study of best-educational practices, and an assessment of the degree to which each university follows those best practices. In 2004, 11 Canadian universities participated for the first time in NSSE, with 14,267 students completing the survey. By 2006, that number had grown to approximately 60,000 students at 31 Canadian institutions. Seventeen universities or their affiliates participated in the 2007 NSSE, representing roughly 14,000 students–fewer than in 2006 because most institutions conduct the NSSE survey every two years.

The NSSE results are headlined by the Benchmarks of Effective Educational Practice, created by NSSE to compare performance across all universities–American and Canadian–in five key areas: Level of Academic Challenge, Student-Faculty Interaction, Active and Collaborative Learning, Enriching Educational Experience, and Supportive Campus Environment. Each school’s benchmark result was calculated by NSSE, based on student responses to a variety of questions. NSSE also asked two important student satisfaction questions; school-by-school results appear on the following pages.

CUSC was created in 1994; it is a Canada-only survey, and unlike NSSE, it is in large part a student satisfaction survey. In 2007, 32 universities took part, including two institutions–UBC and the University of New Brunswick–that surveyed multiple campuses. Surveys were sent to a random sample of approximately 1,000 first-year undergrads at each university. Institutions with fewer than 1,000 first-years surveyed the entire cohort. More than 12,700 students responded.

Two CUSC student satisfaction questions are featured in this issue of the magazine. For the results of seven other CUSC satisfaction questions, visit


The charts on the accompanying pages list 41 universities, including affiliates, that participated in recent NSSE surveys, as well as 31 university campuses surveyed for the 2007 CUSC. In each chart, universities are listed in descending order. When displaying NSSE benchmark results, universities are ordered according to their senior-year benchmark scores; for student satisfaction questions, order was determined by the percentage of survey participants who chose the highest level of satisfaction, for example, “excellent.”

The NSSE and CUSC surveys include more than 150 questions; we have published those–the five key NSSE benchmarks, plus two satisfaction questions each from NSSE and CUSC–that are the most broad and summative of student experience. NSSE charts include universities taking part in the 2006 or 2007 survey–or both–as well as one institution (Regina) that last conducted the survey in 2005. In each case, we display results from the most recent survey year. No data from first-year students are displayed for Royal Roads University as this institution does not offer first-year courses. No data from senior-year students is included for the University of Ontario Institute of Technology. UOIT took part in the 2006 NSSE, and this relatively new institution (founded in 2003) did not at that time have a senior-year class. Data displayed for the University of Western Ontario does not include results from the three Western affiliates, each of which conducted its own survey.

For a listing of additional CUSC results, as well as data from past NSSE, CUSC and Maclean’s surveys, please visit and click on “Rankings.”


Benchmarks of Effective Educational Practice

The NSSE survey asks undergrads nearly 100 questions to assess how
engaged they are with their schools, their professors and their peers.
Student engagement has been shown to be highly correlated with learning.
The benchmarks compare engagement at all universities--American and
Canadian--in five key areas. Level of Academic Challenge assesses
the intellectual demands on students, measuring such things as the
number of assigned readings and written reports, as well as
coursework that emphasizes judgment and transforming information
into more complex interpretations. Student-Faculty Interaction
gauges professors as mentors, measuring how often students meet
with faculty to discuss career plans or ideas, or work with them on
research projects or other activities outside of class.

Level of Academic Challenge

                                 BENCHMARK SCORE
                     Senior-year result   First-year result

Mount Allison               49.6                60.9
Royal Roads                 n/a                 60.1
Trent                       51.8                59.4
Huron (Western)             50                  59
St. Thomas                  51.8                58.4
Acadia                      51.4                57.4
Brock                       50                  57.2
UNBC                        47                  56.9
Brescia (Western)           50.6                56.7
Laurentian                  50.7                56.7
Ryerson                     52.1                56.5
McMaster                    52.4                56.5
Lakehead                    50.9                55.9
UNB (Saint John)            48.1                55.9
Queen's                     53.4                55.9
OCAD                        49.1                55.8
UPEI                        47.2                55.7
Wilfrid Laurier             52                  55.6
NSSE2007 *                  51.6                55.5
Victoria                    49.6                55.4
Guelph                      48.2                55.4
King's (Western)            50                  55
York                        49.7                54.9
Dalhousie                   48.8                54.8
Ottawa                      48.6                54.5
Waterloo                    52.6                54.5
McGill                      51                  54.2
Toronto                     50.1                54.2
Concordia                   49                  54
UNB (Fredericton)           48.6                53.7
Saskatchewan                47.4                53.6
Western                     48.8                53.6
Laval                       49.9                53.5
Windsor                     46.8                53.5
Calgary                     48.5                52.9
UBC                         49.9                52.8
Lethbridge                  45.7                52.6
Alberta                     49.3                52
Regina                      45.7                51.1

Note: UOIT first-year score was 54.2.

* NSSE 2007 represents results from 610 Canadian and American

Note: Table made from bar graph.

Student-Faculty Interaction

                                   BENCHMARK SCORE
                     Senior-year result   First-year result

Mount Allison               23.6                49.6
Huron (Western)             27                  43
Acadia                      30.1                42.6
NSSE 2007 *                 32.5                40.9
OCAD                        28.7                39.9
UPEI                        24.8                38.8
St. Thomas                  26.8                37.9
Brescia (Western)           27.2                37.8
UNBC                        25.2                37.6
Brock                       22.3                37.3
Lethbridge                  22.4                37.1
Trent                       24.4                36.5
King's (Western)            26                  36
Nipissing                   26.7                36
Laurentian                  23.2                35.3
UNB (Fredericton)           25.5                33.9
Ryerson                     25.1                33.3
Dalhousie                   23,4                32.8
Guelp                       18.9                32.8
Queen's                     21.8                32.6
Wilffid Laurier             22.7                32.5
Saskatchewan                20.4                32
McMaster                    23.1                31.8
Windsor                     22.1                31,4
Western                     22.5                31.1
Calgary                     20.6                30.9
Royal Roads                 n/a                 30.9
Concordia                   21.7                30.8
Lakehead                    24.2                30.7
Victoria                    21.8                30.7
Carleton                    23.1                30.2
McGill                      20.1                30.2
Regina                      21.8                29.8
York                        22.4                29.8
Toronto                     19.4                29.1
Alberta                     20.4                29
Laval                       18.9                28.9
Waterloo                    21.1                28.6
UBC                         20                  27.4
Ottawa                      18.6                27.2

Note: UOIT first-year score was 27.7. UOIT did not have a
senior-year class in 2006. Royal Roads does not have
first-year classes. See "Reading the Charts," page 101.

Note: Table made from bar graph.


Listed below and previous and following pages are results for 40
Canadian universities or affiliates that took part in NSEE in 2006
or 2007, as well as one (Regina) whose students completed the survey
in 2005. In all cases, results for the most recent survey year are
displayed. Active and Collaborative Learning assesses involvement and
teamwork, measuring how often students work with classmates, make class
presentations, or participate in community-based projects. Enriching
Educational Experience recognizes that diversity and complementary
learning opportunities enhance academic programs. This includes
internships and co-ops, community service, study abroad, as well as a
campus environment that promotes contact among students from different

Active and Collaborative Learning

                                    BENCHMARK SCORE
                       Senior-year results:   First-year results:

Royal Roads                    n/a                    53.9
Brescia (Western)              36.6                   52.5
Brock                          35.9                   52.5
Mount Allison                  32.4                   51.4
Acadia                         40.5                   51.3
Ryerson                        40                     51.2
OCAE                           43.6                   50.6
NSSE 2007 *                    41                     49.9
UNB (Saint John)               36.1                   49.4
Lethbridge                     31.8                   49.1
UPEI                           36                     49.1
UNBC                           35.9                   48.6
Trent                          35.4                   48.3
Huron (Western)                35                     48
UNB (Fredericton)              35.2                   46.8
St. Thomas                     36.1                   46.7
Wilfrid Laurier                37.7                   46.6
Nipissing                      38.3                   46.2
Guelph                         34.1                   45.3
Lakehead                       38.5                   45.2
McMaster                       38.6                   44.9
Regina                         32.6                   44.6
Laval                          37.9                   44.4
King's (Western)               34                     44
Calgary                        35.7                   43.7
York                           34.5                   43.7
Queen's                        36.1                   43.6
Laurentian                     31.1                   43.5
Saskatchewan                   31.3                   43.3
Concordia                      34.8                   43.2
Dalhousie                      35.1                   42.9
Carleton                       35.2                   42.8
Victoria                       32.5                   42.8
Windsor                        32.1                   42.6
Alberta                        33.7                   42.1
Ottawa                         30.8                   41.4
McGill                         34.6                   41.2
Western                        32.3                   40.5
UBC                            34.2                   39.7
Waterloo                       33.7                   38.9
Toronto                        29.7                   35.6

Note: UOIT first-year score was 41.5.

* NSSE 2007 represents results from 610 Canadian and American

Enriching Educational Experience

                                  BENCHMARK SCORE
                       Senior-year results:   First-year results:

Mount Allison                  27.3                   41.1
Acadia                         28.1                   40.6
NSSE 2007 *                    26.9                   39.7
Huron (Western)                27                     39
Queen's                        27.5                   38.9
Waterloo                       26.8                   37.4
Guelph                         24.7                   36.9
Brescia (Western)              27.2                   36.7
McGill                         26.8                   36.7
McMaster                       25.6                   36.1
Brock                          23.3                   35.8
Ryerson                        25.3                   35.6
Trent                          26.2                   34.8
UNB (Fredericton)              22.9                   34.4
Calgary                        24.1                   34.3
Laurentian                     22.6                   34.3
Wilfrid Laurier                25.4                   34.1
UBC                            25.3                   33.9
Alberta                        25                     33.7
UNB (Saint John)               24.5                   33.7
Lethbridge                     21.2                   33.6
Dalhousie                      23.3                   33.2
Western                        26.3                   33.2
OCAD                           23.7                   32.9
Carleton                       24.3                   32.7
Victoria                       24.1                   32.7
UNBC                           25.7                   32.6
Ottawa                         22.8                   32.6
Regina                         20.6                   32.6
Windsor                        22.9                   32.3
King's (Western)               24                     32
St. Thomas                     24.2                   31.9
Lakehead                       24                     31.6
Laval                          21.2                   31.6
UPEI                           22.4                   31.3
Toronto                        22.9                   31.2
Royal Roads                    n/a                    31.2
York                           23.2                   30.4
Saskatchewan                   20.2                   30.3
Concordia                      22.8                   30
Nipissing                      24.6                   29

Note: UOIT first-year score was 26.8. UOIT did not have a senior-year
class in 2006.

Royal Roads does not have first-year classes. See "Reading the
Charts," page 101.


Benchmarks of Effective
Educational Practice

The Supportive Campus Environment benchmark recognizes that
students perform better at schools that support academic and
non-academic endeavours, and that cultivate positive relationships
among students, faculty and staff. Surprisingly, scores at
many schools decline between first and fourth year.

Supportive Campus Environment

                                    BENCHMARK SCORE
                       Senior-year results:   First-year results:

Huron (Western)                56                     64
Brescia (Western)              59.6                   63.5
Mount Allison                  59.3                   62.7
Acadia                         63.3                   60.4
Royal Roads                    n/a                    60.1
UPEI                           58.2                   59.9
Nipissing                      63.5                   59.8
King's (Western)               57                     59
St. Thomas                     58                     57.9
UNB (Saint John)               55.3                   57.4
Brock                          56.3                   57.3
Guelph                         60.6                   56.9
Trent                          59.3                   56.8
NSSE 2007 *                    59.6                   56.7
Queen's                        60.7                   55.8
Wilfrid Laurier                59.8                   55.3
UNBC                           56.2                   54.7
Lethbridge                     53.9                   53.5
McMaster                       58.3                   53.4
Laurentian                     55.9                   52.9
Victoria                       56                     52.8
Western                        58.6                   52.5
UNB (Fredericton)              53.9                   51.8
Windsor                        51.7                   51.8
Concordia                      52.5                   51.5
Regina                         51.8                   51.5
Saskatchewan                   51.8                   51
Lakehead                       56.2                   50.8
Ryerson                        55.6                   50.3
Carleton                       56.5                   50.2
Waterloo                       57.5                   49.5
Dalhousie                      50.9                   49.1
Alberta                        53.4                   48.6
Calgary                        51.2                   47.4
OCAD                           54.1                   46.4
McGill                         50.9                   45.6
Ottawa                         49.4                   45.3
UBC                            50.8                   44.9
Toronto                        51.6                   44.8

Note: UOIT first-year score was 59.8. UOIT did not have a senior-year
class in 2006.

Royal Roads does not have first-year c asses See "Reading the Charts,"
page 101.

* NSSE 2007 represents results from 610 Canadian and American


Student Satisfaction Results

The CUSC survey is an annual study with a focus on student
satisfaction. The 2007 survey, whose results are featured below,
canvassed first-year students for their opinions. Participating
universities sent an extensive questionnaire to a random sampling of up
to 1,000 students, asking questions about everything from academics to
support services. In 2007, nearly 13,000 students responded.

Generally, I am satisfied with the quality of teaching I have received.

                      Agree (%)   Agree (%)

Nipissing                33          60
Trent                    33          62
Wilfrid Laurier          30          63
Brandon                  29          64
UOIT                     29          57
Winnipeg                 29          60
Carleton                 26          64
Lethbridge               26          66
Ryerson                  26          62
Fraser Valley            25          67
Mount Saint Vincent      24          60
UNB (Fredericton)        24          66
McMaster                 23          65
Saskatchewan             23          65
Concordia                22          63
UNB (Saint John)         22          69
Saint Mary's             22          67
Montreal                 21          67
UNBC                     21          70
UBC (Okanagan)           19          69
Brock                    19          72
Victoria                 19          70
Dalhousie                17          70
Regina                   17          72
Alberta                  15          70
Ottawa                   15          72
Simon Fraser             15          71
Manitoba                 14          71
Windsor                  14          69
UBC (Vancouver)          13          68
Calgary                  13          71

I am satisfied with my decision to
attend this university.

                      Agree (%)   Agree (%)

Nipissing                54          38
Trent                    51          40
Wilfrid Laurier          51          42
McMaster                 48          45
Mount Saint Vincent      48          42
Winnipeg                 46          48
Saskatchewan             45          47
UOIT                     44          46
Victoria                 42          49
Carleton                 41          50
UNB (Fredericton)        41          50
Lethbridge               40          54
Montreal                 40          50
Ryerson                  40          52
Saint Mary's             40          50
Brandon                  39          56
Brock                    38          53
Concordia                36          58
Alberta                  35          57
Dalhousie                34          54
UNBC                     34          58
Regina                   34          61
Fraser Valley            33          59
UNB (Saint John)         32          58
Simon Fraser             31          59
UBC (Vancouver)          30          60
Ottawa                   30          61
UBC (Okanagan)           28          67
Calgary                  25          64
Windsor                  22          63
Manitoba                 20          71

Note: Table made from bar graph.


Student Satisfaction Results

The NSSE survey is not primarily a student satisfaction survey. The
main purpose of NSSE is to assess what students are doing--as shown
in the benchmark tables on pages 102 to 106--not to ask for their
opinion. However, NSSE includes some satisfaction questions, including
one asking students to evaluate their educational experience. Most
institutions' scores declined from first to fourth year.

How would you evaluate your entire educational experience at this


                   Excellent (%)   Good (%)

Queen's                 53            38
Western                 47            41
Nipissing               45            45
Guelph                  43            47
Mount Allison           43            45
Waterloo                41            44
Wilfrid Laurier         40            49
Acadia                  39            49
UOIT                    39            46
St Thomas               38            51
McMaster                37            48
King's (Western)        36            49
NSSE 2007 *             34            52
McGill                  33            48
Huron (Western)         32            49
Trent                   31            51
Victoria                31            55
Lakehead                29            52
OCAD                    29            45
Alberta                 28            53
Brock                   28            53
Carleton                28            53
Laval                   27            57
Lethbridge              27            57
Ryerson                 27            52
UPEI                    26            57
Laurentian              25            54
Brescia (Western)       24            66
UBC                     24            50
Dalhousie               23            54
UNB (Fredericton)       23            57
UNBC                    23            59
Saskatchewan            23            60
Toronto                 22            48
York                    20            55
Concordia               19            58
Ottawa                  19            59
UNB (Saint John)        18            58
Calgary                 17            58
Regina                  16            64
Windsor                 16            55


                   Excellent (%)   Good (%)

Huron (Western)         63            29
Brescia (Western)       57            32
Mount Allison           53            40
King's (Western)        51            41
Guelph                  43            46
Trent                   43            43
UPEI                    41            50
Queen's                 41            45
St. Thomas              41            49
Acadia                  40            50
Western                 38            47
Brock                   37            40
UNBC                    37            47
Nipissing               36            53
Waterloo                36            47
Wilfrid Laurier         36            52
NSSE 2007 *             34            49
McMaster                34            47
Lethbridge              32            52
Victoria                29            57
McGill                  26            52
Royal Roads             26            49
Ryerson                 24            51
Alberta                 23            56
Windsor                 23            53
Carleton                22            57
UNB (Fredericton)       22            56
Concordia               21            55
UNB (Saint John)        21            56
Saskatchewan            21            60
Toronto                 21            48
Dalhousie               20            55
Lakehead                20            52
Laurentian              20            53
Laval                   20            59
Regina                  20            58
UBC                     18            53
OCAD                    18            59
York                    18            53
Calgary                 14            53
Ottawa                  11            55

* NSSE 2007 benchmark reflects the overall result for 610 Canadian and
American universities.

Note: UOIT did not have a senior-year class in 2006. Royal Roads does
not have first-year classes. See "Reading the Charts," page 101.

Note: Table made from bar graph.


Student Satisfaction Results

NSSE is primarily an objective look at life and learning on campus, but
it also asks students to answer a few satisfaction questions. In
general, senior students are more critical when evaluating their
university experience. While the majority of students would choose to
return to their alma mater, the number drops--in some cases
sharply--for students in their final year as compared to freshmen.

If you could start over, would you go to the institution you are now


                    Definitely   Probably
                     Yes (%)     Yes (%)

Queen's                 60          31
Western                 60          30
Guelph                  54          35
Nipissing               54          35
Mount Allison           53          33
Waterloo                53          36
Wilfrid Laurier         53          36
McGill                  52          37
Laval                   50          42
St. Thomas              49          37
OCAD                    46          45
Huron (Western)         45          39
King's (Western)        45          39
McMaster                45          43
UOIT                    45          40
Victoria                45          43
Acadia                  43          45
UBC                     43          43
NSSE 2007 *             43          41
Alberta                 42          46
Trent                   42          41
Ryerson                 41          44
Laurentian              40          43
Saskatchewan            40          49
Carleton                39          46
Lakehead                39          41
Brock                   38          45
Lethbridge              38          49
UPEI                    38          46
Brescia (Western)       37          44
Concordia               37          48
UNB (Fredericton)       37          45
Dalhousie               34          45
Toronto                 34          43
UNBC                    33          54
York                    32          51
Ottawa                  30          50
Regina                  29          57
UNB (Saint John)        27          50
Calgary                 26          54
Windsor                 26          49


                    Definitely   Probably
                     Yes (%)     Yes (%)

Huron (Western)         63          23
King's (Western)        56          34
Brescia (Western)       53          32
Guelph                  51          34
Mount Allison           51          34
Royal Roads             51          35
St. Thomas              50          37
Acadia                  46          38
UPEI                    46          41
Wilfrid Laurier         46          36
Brock                   45          38
Queens                  45          38
Western                 45          38
McGill                  44          38
Trent                   44          36
Waterloo                44          37
Nipissing               43          41
UNBC                    43          43
NSSE 2007 *             42          39
McMaster                41          39
Victoria                39          47
Laval                   38          47
Lethbridge              36          45
Alberta                 34          50
Saskatchewan            34          49
Concordia               33          48
OCAD                    33          50
Ryerson                 33          44
UBC                     32          45
Carleton                30          46
Laurentian              30          42
Regina                  29          49
Toronto                 29          39
Lakehead                28          44
Windsor                 28          45
UNB (Fredericton)       26          46
UNB (Saint John)        26          47
York                    24          45
Dalhousie               21          49
Ottawa                  19          47
Calgary                 16          50

* NSSE 2007 benchmark reflects the overall result for 610 Canadian and
American universities.

Note: UOIT did not have a senior-year class in 2006. Royal Roads does
not have first-year classes. See "Reading the Charts," page 101.

Note: Table made from bar graph.
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