E-mail and Tuudo reach students best - newsletter coming in the spring
The University of Oulu examined the experiences and wishes of undergraduate and exchange students regarding the university's communications by means of a survey, which was taken by 910 students. The survey was conducted by Taloustutkimus from 16 January to 5 February 2023.
The university's communications receive praise for the topicality, comprehensibility and modernity of the channels. However, it is hoped that some degree of improvement will be made to the attractiveness of communications as well as their adequacy and speed.
Faculties and degree programmes have their own instructions and events, which they communicate to their students in a targeted manner. 70% of the respondents are very or fairly satisfied with the communications between faculties and degree programmes, which received an overall grade of 3.72. With regard to the communications of faculties or degree programmes, students are particularly satisfied with the comprehensibility, topicality and suitability of communication channels. The highest degree of dissatisfaction is with the adequacy of communications.
With regard to studies, teachers communicate on the course schedule and performance. 66% of the respondents are very or fairly satisfied with course communications, which received an overall grade of 3.65. In the survey, respondents were asked to give only a general grade for course communications, because evaluation of the course communication is included in the feedback of each course.
Information needs vary at different stages of studies
Information needs vary according to the progress of studies. During the first years of studies, students most often want information on the planning, completion and general issues of their studies. As the studies progress, students will become more interested in information on completing the thesis, graduating, finding employment and possible further studies.
6% of the respondents claimed a non-Finnish nationality, and 2% of the respondents were exchange students. The responses of international students taking the survey emphasised the need to also receive information on events in the university community, well-being services and study opportunities after graduation. A desire for more communications in English was also expressed.
The most important channels for student communications are e-mail and Tuudo, through which students also want to see communications from the university also in the future. Respondents were also relatively satisfied with the available channels. Some students would like to see better targeting of their e-mail messages. They feel that there is too much e-mail or that e-mails deal with things that are not relevant for student.
With regard to social media channels, students want to see more communications on Instagram also in the future. Approximately 60 per cent said that they were satisfied with the Instagram content on the @unioulu account.
71% of the respondents said that they would like to receive a monthly university newsletter, which would gather the most important news and events for students. The university is now responding to this request, and students will start receiving a monthly newsletter in their emails this spring. In addition, the news and future events will continue to be available on Tuudo and on the For Students page. Students can also choose to see, for example, news on their degree programme, on Tuudo.
The For Students page on the oulu.fi website collects student instructions, news and events. Up to 86% of the respondents report that they rarely or fairly rarely visit the For Student page. Some also feel that it is difficult to find the information they want on the website or that the information is not presented in a very user-friendly way. To better serve the needs of the students in the future, the university will develop the student’s website so that the information and instructions are easier to find.
Feedback is utilised in development
The university would like to thank the students for their active participation in the survey. The feedback will be utilised directly in the development of communications, and the first phase will be the establishment of a student newsletter.
The feedback obtained will be discussed in several contexts during the spring. Faculty-specific feedback will be reviewed by each faculty during the spring, and any further measures to be taken will be given due consideration.
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