Problems registering, student survey finds

Feb 09, 2002, February 7, 2002 Vol . 23, No. 3

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The annual fall undergraduate survey reveals that students continue to have problems registering in the courses they desire. Overall, students' ability to register in such courses has declined 7 per cent since 1997. In every survey year since 1992, course availability has ranked among students' top two concerns.

This fall, just 58 per cent of survey respondents were able to register in all specific courses they wanted. The most common reasons cited were full classes (56 per cent), class time conflicts (32 per cent) and final exam time conflicts (6 per cent). While there was a slight improvement in registering for the number of courses desired, with 87 per cent reporting success in this area, up from 85 per cent the previous fall, the survey reports that over the past five years, students' ability to enroll in the number of courses desired has actually declined by 2 per cent.

More than half of students (52 per cent) say that pursuing their degree is taking longer than initially expected. Reasons cited on the survey include reduced course loads (18 per cent), full courses (14 per cent) and courses not offered in the desired semester. Still, the proportion of students completing their degree on time improved by 2 per cent over the year previous.

Respondents to the survey rated communication skills, critical thinking and problem solving, and integration of studies as the three most important skills to develop during their degree program.

In assessing all of the services offered by campus community services (CCS), 16 per cent of students said they were very satisfied, 69 per cent somewhat satisfied, 13 per cent not very satisfied and 3 per cent not at all satisfied.

The top five issues of concern were: the need to raise awareness of CCS, accessibility/hours of access, recreational services and athletics, the health counselling and career centre, and residence housing.

The survey also examined students' living arrangements: 21 per cent of respondents had applied to live in residence at SFU and 89 per cent were accepted.

For 60 per cent of residence applicants, the availability of accommodation at SFU was very important.

Most SFU undergrad students continue to live at home with parents or guardians (56 per cent). Just 7 per cent live in residence on-campus.

View the entire undergraduate student survey online.

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