If students could start over, would they go to the same university? - Macleans.ca

If students could start over, would they go to the same university?

Among senior-year students, Sherbrooke places first on a national survey

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University of Manitoba students on campus. (Marianne Helm/University of Manitoba)

The National Survey of Student Engagement (NSSE) asks first- and senior-year students dozens of specific questions about how they spend their time in and out of the classroom. The study asks about everything from teaching methods to interaction with faculty. Both first- and senior-year students are also asked: If you could start over, would you go to the institution you are now attending? Among senior-year students, Sherbrooke comes first, with 74 per cent of students saying they would “definitely” return. (Sherbrooke also topped Maclean’s survey of student satisfaction in 2018.)

Over the past several months, Maclean’s contacted schools and asked them to share their results. For our full report on NSSE results, click here. In 2017, 130,291 students at 72 Canadian schools took part in the American-based survey, for an average response rate of 37 per cent.

First-year students


Definitely Yes (%) Probably Yes (%)
Tyndale 71 28
Saint Paul (Ottawa) 66 25
Sherbrooke 64 29
Ambrose 59 31
Quest 59 35
Laval 55 37
St. Francis Xavier 55 30
Queen's 53 35
Briercrest 52 33
Montréal 52 38
UQAM 52 39
Sheridan 51 41
Trinity Western 50 40
Mount Royal 48 43
Wilfrid Laurier 48 41
McGill 47 42
Trent 46 39
Acadia 45 40
Guelph 45 42
McMaster 45 42
St. Thomas 44 43
Brescia (Western) 43 45
MacEwan 43 47
ACAD 42 44
Moncton 42 46
Nipissing 42 41
NSSE 2016 & 2017 average 42 42
Alberta 41 49
Mount Allison 41 41
Waterloo 41 45
Western 41 46
Mount Saint Vincent 40 42
OCAD U 40 45
UBC (Vancouver) 39 49
Cape Breton 39 51
Dalhousie 39 46
King's (Edmonton) 39 47
UNB (Fredericton) 39 48
Winnipeg 39 47
Carleton 38 48
Laurentian 38 47
UBC (Okanagan) 37 49
Concordia (Montreal) 37 49
Ryerson 37 46
Saskatchewan 37 51
Brandon 36 52
Memorial 36 49
Brock 35 50
UOIT 34 49
Lethbridge 33 52
Toronto 33 48
Ottawa 31 51
UPEI 31 50
Saint Mary's 31 51
Victoria 31 54
Calgary 30 53
Lakehead 30 46
Thompson Rivers 29 52
Windsor 28 52
Manitoba 25 57
York 25 52
Simon Fraser 24 56
*NSSE average is the average score for all Canadian and U.S. universities and colleges that participated in the 2016 and 2017 surveys.

Senior-year students


Definitely Yes (%) Probably Yes (%)
Sherbrooke 64 30
Tyndale 62 23
Quest 61 28
Trinity Western 61 31
Ambrose 58 37
Saint Paul (Ottawa) 57 35
St. Francis Xavier 56 33
St. Thomas 56 34
Briercrest 55 31
Mount Royal 54 36
MacEwan 53 38
Guelph 52 35
Brescia (Western) 49 40
Wilfrid Laurier 49 38
Acadia 48 36
Laval 48 39
Queen's 48 36
Trent 47 39
King's (Edmonton) 45 40
Montréal 44 39
Mount Allison 44 41
Winnipeg 44 42
NSSE 2016 & 2017 average 44 39
UQAM 42 44
McMaster 41 42
Mount Saint Vincent 41 39
Cape Breton 39 42
Concordia (Montreal) 39 45
Memorial 39 43
Sheridan 39 43
McGill 38 44
Nipissing 38 45
Western 38 41
UBC (Vancouver) 37 48
Waterloo 37 46
Saint Mary's 36 44
Brock 35 42
Victoria 35 47
Alberta 34 49
UBC (Okanagan) 34 45
Lethbridge 34 49
UNB (Fredericton) 34 47
Saskatchewan 33 48
Thompson Rivers 33 48
Carleton 32 48
Brandon 31 44
Ryerson 31 44
Toronto 31 42
Dalhousie 28 46
Moncton 28 46
UPEI 28 49
UOIT 27 45
OCAD U 26 39
Laurentian 25 45
Manitoba 25 51
Simon Fraser 24 52
York 24 48
ACAD 23 57
Calgary 23 48
Lakehead 23 45
Windsor 23 48
Ottawa 22 49
*NSSE average is the average score for all Canadian and U.S. universities and colleges that participated in the 2016 and 2017 surveys.

Results for Guelph are for the main University of Guelph campus and Guelph-Humber.
The University of Northern British Columbia and the University of Regina did not conduct NSSE in 2017.
Ten universities that conducted NSSE in 2017 did not provide Maclean’s with results.

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