Student satisfaction at the U of R

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A photo taken from the south side of the Riddell Centre facing North through the main hallway, filled with sunlight and sporting the “Carillon on the move” series logo in the bottom left.
All the potential in the world, you simply need to decide in which directions you’re pursuing. Lee Lim

Why students chose to study here, whether they’re content, and a little history lesson all wrapped together 

Regina, Saskatchewan’s capital city, is home to the University of Regina, guided by its inspiring motto “As One Who Serves.” The University of Regina has campuses located on the ancestral lands of the nêhiyawak, Anihšināpēk, Dakota, Lakota, Nakoda, and the homeland of the Métis Nation on Treaty 4 and Treaty 6.   

The university can trace its roots back to its establishment in 1911 as Regina College, a small Methodist college affiliated with the University of Saskatchewan. It offered classes in the arts and sciences, thus serving as a center of education for the local community. In 1974, Regina College transitioned into the University of Regina, an independent and degree-granting institution. This moment marked the university’s expansion of programs, research opportunities, and scholarly pursuits with its commitment to academic rigor and excellence.  

The University of Regina has 10 faculties, 25 academic departments and schools, 10 research centres, and three federated colleges: Campion College, First Nations University of Canada, and Luther College. Today, UofR offers over 190 undergraduate programs and 80 graduate programs including a host of francophone courses offered through La Cité, thus catering to a broad spectrum of disciplines and professional fields. This yet gives rise to a pressing question: why among all the other universities across Canada did students choose the University of Regina as their post-secondary institution? And are they content now with the choice they made? The Carillon conducted a survey and spoke with several students to get their take on the matter. 

Despite its smaller size compared to other cities, Regina offers a significant advantage when it comes to commuting. This means traveling to the university is generally less time-consuming compared to larger metropolitan areas. This is seen in the survey results revealing that a significant majority of students, 83.33 per cent to be precise, chose UofR for its location and campus facilities. This overwhelming response certainly highlights the appeal of the university’s convenient placement, thus decreasing the daily challenge of navigating through heavy traffic and allowing for more flexibility in the students’ schedules.  

Moreover, 66.67 per cent of students indicated that recommendations from friends and families played a role in their decision to choose the University of Regina while 33.33 per cent cited budget considerations as a factor in their decision-making process, and 16 per cent mentioned acceptance rate and academic quality as the influential factors.  

Being located within Wascana Park, the University of Regina provides an attractive study and work environment. The tuition rates are on par with the national average, and it is among comprehensive universities in the level of student financial support – available as a percentage of tuition. This shows the university’s location and commitment to affordability that contributes to the quality and experience of the students at UofR.  

Regarding extracurricular activities and student organizations that have contributed to the students’ personal growth and overall university experience, the responses varied. The students who took the survey mentioned their involvement in specific programs such as the Ambassador program, UR careers, Student Success Centre, Accommodation Test Centre, the Muslim Students’ Association, University of Regina Students’ Union, and Cougar Athletics and Rams Football Camps. Whether it’s gaining industry experience, expanding students’ professional networks, connecting with the larger student community, or engaging in diverse sports activities, these organizations and programs provide students with resources to make the most of their student experience where the possibilities are abundant.  

Every student has different expectations of university, different learning styles, and different needs. The personalized support of UofR’s programs provide on- and off-campus career opportunities, academic advising, learning skills, transition programs, special assistance for students requiring accessibility facilities, community-building activities, and opportunities to showcase their athletic talents. Such organizations at the university create spaces for students to thrive both academically and personally. 

The survey also shed light on the satisfaction of the students related to the quality of education and academic programs available at UofR. Results reflect a mixed perception among students regarding the quality of education. While 62.5 per cent view the educational standard as average, 37.5 per cent view it as above average and only 12.5 per cent consider it to be below average. These varying perspectives stress the fact that each student has differing experiences and opinions when it comes to the academic programs offered at the university. It is thus crucial to note that rankings should not be the sole determinant of a university’s educational value.  

Factors such as teaching methods, faculty expertise, research opportunities, and practical learning experiences equally contribute to the overall experience of a student. For example, a fourth-year student enrolled in the Faculty of Arts emphasized the importance of making connections: “Make connections with professors and students and go to the different events that are offered inside and outside the university.” On the other hand, another student pursuing a BA in Psychology suggests seeking guidance and support to enhance one’s educational experience. “Reach out to an academic advisor.” This was among the recurring suggestions for continuous improvement in one’s academic endeavors.  

Some students expressed concerns about the teaching methods of professors, emphasizing the need for more engaging instructional approaches. As one student stated, “The prof can be way better with their teaching methods! Many simply only give us the materials to make sense of rather than teach it to us.” Another student expressed the desire for more biochemistry classes, indicating the need for expanded course offerings in specific disciplines. Concerns about the loss of professors, insufficient class availability, and the need to have more options for flexible concurrent programs in the Faculty of Business Administration were also raised, highlighting the importance to have an adequate range of courses and an adequately supported and staffed faculty.  

Several students offered practical suggestions for improvement. Planning, registering for classes in a timely manner, and reading early on were recommended to avoid last-minute panic or stress. Taking the initiative to engage with course materials well in advance allows for better comprehension and preparedness. The opportunity to take classes offered through Campion, Luther, and the First Nations University (FNU) of Canada was also seen as interesting by the students surveyed. Some students spoke highly of FNU, like one who noted “FNU has a very rounded education. I appreciate it.”   

Moreover, academic advising and scholarships were also mentioned as valuable benefits, and another notable advantage raised is the opportunity for smaller class sizes and increased interaction with professors. Students can better engage in discussions, ask for clarifications, and receive individualized attention from professors from the smaller-sized classes at the Federated Colleges, creating more of a sense of belonging within the university community.  

In the guise of conclusion, while ambivalence is seen among diverse students who have chosen the University of Regina as their post-secondary institution, UofR still stands as a beacon of opportunity and growth for the latter seeking tertiary education. A complexity of student experiences does exist, highlighting the multifaceted nature of educational value. It is noteworthy that the voices of students serve as a testament to their dedication to their education and their belief in the potential of the university. To everyone who has chosen the University of Regina, your decision can be not merely a choice, but a transformative milestone for your academic journey. A moment when possibilities converge, and it is up to you to navigate your path and make the most of the resources available to you. 

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