By Sabrina Carinci
A thumbs up was the general result of Western's second annual report on the survey of graduating students.
The report, which was released this week, asked graduating students a variety of questions ranging from their satisfaction with specific facilities on campus to their plans upon graduation.
"The questions were answered with general satisfaction," said Greg Moran, VP-academic at Western. "A high percentage said they'd recommend Western to a friend."
According to Moran, the purpose of the survey is two-fold. The feedback given by the graduates is used to evaluate the general satisfaction or dissatisfaction felt by grads while completing their degrees at Western, while the results are also used in a formulative way to help the administration decided where problems exist.
"We want to be accountable to our students," Moran said. He added the survey is equally helpful to both deans and chairs in deciding how to better run their departments.
According to Moran, the more interesting results of the survey include the rise of student debt. The survey indicates students in debt over $35,000 are up from 8.5 per cent last year to 10.6 per cent this year. "This presents a great deal of concern it suggests a challenge," he said.
Also noteworthy are the decreasing employment statistics, which Moran explained as being slightly distorted, as some graduates may have still had classes to attend.
Sharon Lee, coordinator of employment services at the student development centre, said students who have graduated make use of the services in the SDC frequently. "Students have access to the Internet Employment Cafe free for six months after they graduate," she said. "Then they have to pay."
Ian Armour, president of the University Students' Council, said although he is content with most of the survey results, he is also concerned about student debt and questions the satisfaction of next year's graduating students.
"Students in school now will have higher debt levels," he said, adding these students may not have the same satisfaction as the graduating students of this year.
"I commend [the administration] for publishing the survey, but I think it's a risky thing to do," he said.