Alumni satisfied with education: survey

February 23, 2006, vol. 35, no. 4
By Stuart Colcleugh



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This is a corrected version of a story that appeared in the Feb. 6 edition of SFU News.

SFU alumni are happy with their university education and would take the same programs again, according to a recently released survey of 1998 baccalaureate graduates of B.C. universities five years after leaving school.

The survey by the University Presidents' Council of British Columbia (TUPC) found that about 97 per cent of all SFU respondents were satisfied or very satisfied with their university education and approximately 77 per cent said they would take the same program again.

Graduates in fine and performing arts were the most satisfied (almost 100 per cent), while those in physical sciences were the least (94 per cent). About 96 per cent of engineering science grads said they were satisfied, but a higher proportion of them than any other group (72 per cent) were very satisfied with their education.

Of those who wouldn't take the same program again, the most common reasons given were a lack of career opportunities or an inability to find work in their field (25.5 per cent), changed interests (22.7 per cent) and the belief that the courses taken weren't relevant to the real world (21.7 per cent).

Of the 91 per cent of SFU's 1998 baccalaureate grads who said they were in the labour force, 97 per cent were employed and three per cent were looking for work. About 87 per cent of those employed were working full-time and 13 per cent were employed part-time. The median annual fulltime income was about $48,000.

Of those not in the labour force about 32 per cent were attending school full time, with three per cent attending part time.

About 85 per cent of those surveyed said they were very or somewhat successful in achieving job satisfaction, while about 78 per cent succeeded at career advancement opportunities and about 75 per cent were successful in achieving adequate employment income.

Since obtaining their bachelor's degrees 60.2 per cent of SFU's 1998 baccalaureate graduates said they had taken some form of post-secondary education, of which the majority had obtained or were working on a master's degree (26.9 per cent), a professional association certification (22.6 per cent), another undergraduate degree (20.4 per cent), an applied program certification (17.5 per cent) or a doctoral degree (4.0 per cent).

SFU participants said the skills that were most enhanced by their university experience were analytical and critical thinking skills (about 90 per cent rated high or very high), followed by independent learning (89 per cent), written communication (about 87 per cent) and reading comprehension (about 86 per cent).

The survey is available at www.tupc.bc.ca/student_outcomes/.

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