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Study environment: What is the study environment like on your degree programme?

Aarhus University puts focus on study environment through a large-scale study environment survey, and emails are now being sent to all students. Lecturers and members of staff who are in contact with students are encouraged to draw the students’ attention to this survey.

Contact with lecturers, feedback, loneliness, workload, bullying and access to study spaces. These are some of the topics the students will meet in the new study environment survey which is intended to help ensure a good study environment at Aarhus University.

Pro-rector for Education Berit Eika hopes that lecturers and others who are in contact with students will support the survey.

“In reputation surveys, Aarhus University is characterised by a good study environment. This is a quality which we must preserve and the study environment survey provides us with some of the most important indicators – both at university and local level. Therefore, I hope that all members of staff who are in contact with students will take the opportunity to encourage the students to complete the questionnaire,” says Berit Eika.

Basis for new initiatives

The study environment survey, which is Aarhus University’s version of the statutory assessment of the educational environment, is now being carried out for the fourth time. The most recent study environment survey was carried out in 2014. In general, the 2014 survey showed a very high level of satisfaction among students. However, the survey also identified challenges, e.g. in relation to stress, feedback, digital teaching and time spent on studying.

Since then, the individual degree programmes have worked on various initiatives depending on the specific local challenges. Examples of such initiatives include mentor schemes, improved access to places where study groups can meet as well as improved conditions for feedback from teaching staff. At university level, the focus has primarily been on well-being and digitisation, for example by upgrading studentwelfare.au.dk, expanding the use of Blackboard to the entire university as well as supporting local initiatives within educational IT. [link til særskilt fakta-artikel om indsatser].

“Many academic environments have made serious efforts to follow up on the 2014 study environment survey. And it is extremely positive and inspiring that so many are committed to developing good conditions for students’ well-being. In order to give the survey an even greater impact in the future, this year we have decided to integrate the survey into the overall quality assurance activities at the university,” says Berit Eika.

Teaching staff will receive material soon

Currently, AU’s survey is the most extensive in Denmark, and the response rate of about 40 per cent i 2014 is generally higher than for similar surveys at other institutions in Denmark. Nonetheless, the ambition is to get even more students to complete the questionnaire.

“If we want to continue to have a solid foundation for our efforts to ensure a high-quality study environment, we need a high response rate which provides us with an accurate and nuanced view across all degree programmes,” says Berit Eika.

In the near future, directors of studies and teaching staff will receive material about the survey which they can use in relation to students.

As in previous years, the Centre for Teaching and Learning (CUL) is responsible for the survey. The survey is expected to include responses from more than 13,000 students, and the results will be published on the AU website in spring 2017.


Facts about the study environment survey 

  • The electronic questionnaire will be sent out to students by email on 24 October (au email or private email address). The deadline for responses is 25 November.
  • This time, it is also possible to access the questionnaire through Blackboard.
  • Lots will be drawn for four SONOS speakers and 40 x 2 cinema tickets among the students who complete the questionnaire.
  • At Aarhus University, the study environment was surveyed in 2007 (in Danish), 2011 and 2014.
  • Since the introduction of the Educational Environment Act in 2004 (in Danish), all Danish universities have been under an obligation to conduct this type of survey.
  • The study environment survey is anchored in the Education Committee with the participation of the Student Council. Other student political organisations have been invited to participate in the process and questions have been sent to the boards of studies for comments.
  • The results are expected to be published in the spring of 2017. Based on the reports, the individual degree programmes will prepare action plans in the areas where it is possible and required to launch initiatives.
  • Find additional information at the study environment website http://www.au.dk/en/study-environment-survey/ (which will be updated on a regular basis).