2023 Middle-years Student Experiences

KEY THEME: Undergraduate students showing less satisfaction with quality of teaching and faculty’s interest in their academic development.

The 2023 Middle-Years Student Survey marks the 29th cooperative study undertaken by the Canadian University Survey Consortium (CUSC). The 2023 survey involved 29 universities and almost 12,000 students from across Canada. Past surveys involved between 24 and 29 participating universities with a range of 15,248 to 22,537 students completing the survey.

Middle-Years SurveyParticipating universitiesCompleted surveys

Satisfaction with Quality of Teaching (% ‘strongly agree or ‘agree’)

Over the last three surveys, there has been a slight decline in the percentage of students that agree they are satisfied with the quality of teaching they received.

Perceptions of Professors – Top 5 perceptions of professor’s (% ‘strongly agree’ or ‘agree’)

Students are asked to rate the performance of their professors in 13 different areas. The graph below shows the top five areas of performance, which have been fairly consistent over time, with only slight changes year over year.

Perceptions of Professors – Bottom 5 perceptions of professor’s (% ‘strongly agree’ or ‘agree’)

Conversely, amongst the bottom five areas of professors’ performance, there has been a sharp decline in students’ ratings of professors taking a personal interest in their academic progress, down 14 percentage points since 2014.

Growth and Development – Top 5 areas of students’ growth and development (% ‘very much’ or ‘much’)

Students rated their university’s contribution to their growth and development in 28 different areas. Overall, students indicate that universities contribute most to working independently each year, with slight changes over time.

Growth and Development – Bottom areas of students’ growth and development (% ‘very much’ or ‘much’)

Among those same 28 areas, students over the past four surveys consistently rated their university’s contribution the lowest in three areas – spirituality, second or third language skills, and entrepreneurial skills.

Services and Facilities – Top 5 most used facilities and services

Amongst 26 different facilities and services, there has been a noticeable decline in student use of several. Some of the decline can likely be directly attributed to the impacts of the pandemic, such as use of food services – down 18 percentage points since 2014 – while others may be due to a shift to online resources, such as on-campus bookstore – down 27 percentage points. Another shift was in use of library e-resources, down 22 percentage points from 73% in 2014 to just 51% in 2023.

Services and Facilities –Bottom 5 most used facilities and services with lowest satisfaction (% ‘very satisfied’ or ‘satisfied’)

Generally students who use a facility or service have very high satisfaction with it, typically greater than 90%. However, over time, several standout as being areas of concern amongst students, with Parking having the lowest satisfaction.

2023 Methodology

Each university participating in the surveys generated a sample of eligible students. In some cases, universities provided all eligible students, while others provided a random sample of students. In 2023, response rates by university ranged from 7.5% to 51.3%, with an overall response rate of 21.5%. This yielded 11,585 students who completed the survey.
To compensate for the discrepancies between the population of middle-years students among participating universities and their sample population, results have been weighted. Non-responses were excluded from these analyses.


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