Student satisfaction was measured at Xamk in 2019 through student surveys. The surveys focused on the supervision of students’ interests, students’ opportunities for influence, equal treatment and non-discrimination. The results are promising, but attention must be paid to the response rates of individual surveys.
Student Union Kaakko represents students’ interests
Student Union Kaakko is the students’ advocate at Xamk as a statutory body. This also includes active participation in Xamk’s working groups and organisation of student tutoring as well as supporting and encouraging students to participate in social debate and have influence.
In 2019, the student union provided students with opportunities for influence by electing a student representative to each one of Xamk’s working groups. Students were represented, among others, on the Board of Management of South–Eastern Finland University of Applied Sciences Ltd, various management teams, other teams and development forums. The objective is to have student representatives on all decision-making levels in the future.
Student Union Kaakko in charge of student tutoring
Student tutoring at Xamk has improved and the number of tutors has increased in recent years (see Table 1).
In addition to peer tutors, the student union trains leisure activity tutors, international tutors and e-tutors. Xamk employees contribute to student tutor training with their expertise in wellbeing, communication, etc. The objective for the near future is to develop a student tutoring model that particularly serves students engaging in online, blended learning and master’s studies.
In 2019, student tutors had an important role in the Amazing Campus Race events, arranged for the first time during the new students’ orientation week. The programme of the orientation week will also continue to focus on various participatory activities in the future.
Student satisfaction in the light of survey results
Students can influence the development of Xamk through various surveys. In the national AVOP student feedback survey for graduating students, the response rates of Xamk students graduating from bachelor’s and master’s programmes last year were 99 and 100 per cent, respectively.
Xamk’s overall average score was 5.2, compared with 5.1 in 2018. Compared with the overall average score of other universities of applied sciences, Xamk was in the fourth best category of higher education institutions. The response rate of undergraduates to the arrival survey of new students continued to decrease. Table 2 shows the response rates to the surveys.
According to the arrival survey, students are satisfied, co-operation between staff and student is smooth, and students feel that they are being heard and encouraged. The Wellbeing Management programme taught in English and the Industrial Wood Construction programme received excellent overall average scores.
As with previous years, the lowest score was given to student tutoring. However, the score for student tutoring has improved considerably from 2.4 in autumn 2018 to 3.6 in autumn 2019.
Student satisfaction from the perspective of equality and non-discrimination
In 2019, Xamk also used an equality and non-discrimination survey to evaluate student satisfaction. The survey was conducted for the second time. In accordance with Xamk’s objectives, this survey of students was included as part of the personnel’s equality and non-discrimination plan at Xamk.
The response rate was clearly lower than in 2018. Altogether 381 students answered the survey, compared with 750 in the previous year. Most students found that gender equality is satisfactory at Xamk. The average scores of the answers improved from the previous year. Thirty-one students said that they had experienced unequal treatment or discrimination, compared with 53 in the previous year. The absolute objective is to ensure that all students can complete their studies without being discriminated against. Table 3 shows some of the results of the survey in numbers.