Shape a better UCT : Student opinions wanted

11 March 2013

Brookes and her colleagues have partnered with the University of California, Berkeley, to customise a version of the Student Experience in the Research University (SERU) International Survey for UCT's unique circumstances.

The Student Experience Survey, an online survey that closes on 15 April, aims to engage 25% of UCT students around central themes including academic engagement, student development and student goals.

In conjunction with the survey, a Student Experience Dialogue Series is being launched to stimulate conversation about topical issues. Beginning with a discussion about gender violence on campus on 6 March, every Wednesday during Meridian until 15 April will see other hotly debated issues, such as student politics on campus; whether or not UCT is doing enough in promoting citizenship and social justice; and alcohol ab/use among UCT students.

Brooks urged students not to let the possibility of prizes - which include iPads, HTC phones and "hundreds of flash drives" - be the main motivation for participating in the survey.

"You can make a difference for future generations," says Brooks. "This is part of how students can contribute to a better university." "The university can learn a lot about students if they tell us how they spend their time," continues Brooks. "It will guide us as we look for areas that we need to improve."

Students and former student leaders weighed in to cajole students to take the survey.

"Participate and shape the UCT experience of those who will come after you," urged Saif Islam, who served as the transformation co-ordinator for the Students' Representative Council (SRC) in 2010.

"It's a chance to improve the student experience for everyone while reflecting on your own," added Elroy Bell.

The survey is aimed at undergraduate students and can be accessed from Vula or on a dedicated website: UCT student experience survey.

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