Two surveys gathered feedback on the experiences of the international and first-year students at the University of Oulu
Exchange students were the most satisfied international student group at University of Oulu, almost 40 % of the respondents were interested in working in Oulu region after graduation
The University of Oulu’s Talent Boost team conducted an international student questionnaire focusing on international students’ pre-arrival and arrival support, Finnish language courses, integrating into life in Oulu, career planning and post-graduation plans. In total, 177 students responded to the questionnaire: 36 % of the respondents were master’s level students, 28 % were exchange students, 25 % doctoral researchers, and 10 % were bachelor’s level students.
Exchange students were most satisfied with the support and services provided by the university, however, satisfaction levels were lower for the other student groups. Master’s students and doctoral researchers indicated that more support is needed, for example, in integrating into life in Oulu, getting to know Finnish people, accommodation, and assistance with permits and other bureaucratic issues. Communications between the university and students was also an area identified for improvement.
Half of respondents planned to stay in Finland and work or look for work after graduation. Three quarters (75 %) of those planning to stay were interested in working in the Oulu region. With regards to working life, approaching companies, career planning, networking and working rights were areas in which support, and information were needed most by respondents.
Tutor students were identified as being one of the most important support mechanisms by international students. However, it was clear based on the results that student experiences vary depending on their study level, programme and faculty.
Answers for new students’ survey emphasized wishes about more non-alcoholic events and availability of lecture recordings, whereas the hybrid teaching and student tutoring were praised
The survey mapped the experiences of new students in terms of pre-orientation and orientation, guidance and support services, teaching, and student events. 171 students responded to the survey, majority from the faculties of medicine, technology and science. One third of the respondents had previous university studies.
A clear majority of the respondents felt welcome at the University of Oulu and the student tutors were praised, as two thirds of the respondents were very satisfied with the tutoring. Students wished for more active tutoring from tutor teachers, more support for study planning, and more information about the various guidance and support services.
Half of the respondents felt hybrid teaching being best for them, while a third preferred face-to-face teaching. The quality of the teaching was generally estimated as very good, but the students hoped for more recordings of the lectures for later viewing in order to support time management and adopting the course content.
Respondents found the amount of student events very satisfying, but they hoped for more non-alcoholic events to support community spirit. Many also hoped that event organizers would take into account the accessibility of event information, for example by e-mail, as information is often provided through social media channels not all the students use. However, more than half of the respondents (60%) felt that they belonged to their own study group and were part of the university community.
For more information on the implementation and results of the FYE survey:
Niina Marostenmäki, Solution Designer, Academic Affairs