Students Speak

Hear what STUdents had to say about the student experience, teaching quality, outcomes, and learning environment at STU, and how they rate STU compared to their peers at other universities.

National Survey of First-Year Student Experience and Satisfaction

CUSC Survey of First-Year Students
Survey of: Canadian universities Year: 2022

In a national survey of first-year student experience and satisfaction, on average first-year STUdents ranked St. Thomas higher than their peers at other Canadian universities on measures of teaching quality, student satisfaction, and learning environment.

  • 92% of first-year STUdents say they were satisfied/very satisfied with their decision to attend STU

High Quality Teaching
On average, first-year STUdents reported a higher level of satisfaction with teaching quality than peers at other Canadian universities:

  • 95% of first-year students agreed/strongly agreed they are satisfied with the quality of teaching—compared to an average of 85% at other universities
  • Compared to the national average, STUdents are also more likely to agree that their courses are interesting

Supportive Professors
On average, first-year STUdents ranked STU professors higher than their counterparts at other Canadian universities in:

  • Effective communication in teaching
  • Encouraging participation
  • Concern for their interests

Higher Student Satisfaction

  • The percentage of first-year STUdents who reported that STU exceeded their expectations was significantly higher than the national average
  • On average, the percentage of first-year STUdents who would recommend STU was higher than at other Canadian universities

STU Learning Environment Creates a Better Student Experience
On average, first-year STUdents were more likely than their peers at other Canadian universities to report:

  • Greater contact than expected with professors outside the classroom
  • More access than expected to support and advising assistance

STU According to NSSE 2020: A Supportive and Effective Learning Environment with Greater Gains in Liberal Arts Outcomes    


The National Survey of Student Engagement is the top measure of the university experience in Canada. Its surveys have consistently confirmed that STU provides a supportive, effective learning environment with students evaluating their educational experience significantly higher than the Canadian and Maritimes means. Compared to their Canadian counterparts, STU students: 


  1. report greater gains in critical thinking, writing, communication, and problem solving, and in becoming a more informed and active citizen
  2. rate STU faculty significantly higher than their counterparts at other Canadian universities for effective teaching practices
  3. report a more supportive campus environment


Students at STU consistently rate faculty significantly higher than their Canadian counterparts for effective teaching practices, (e.g. clearly explaining course goals and requirements, teaching in an organized way, using examples or illustrations, and providing prompt, detailed feedback). 


As a result, STU students reported perceived educational gains significantly greater than their Maritime, Canadian, or NSSE counterparts. This is particularly true of outcomes associated with the liberal arts: 

  • writing and speaking clearly and effectively
  • thinking critically and analytically
  • developing or clarifying a personal code of values and ethics
  • understanding people of other backgrounds
  • solving complex real-world problems
  • being an informed and active citizen  

National Survey of Student Engagement

Survey of: 79 Canadian institutions 

Year of Survey: 2017

In the National Survey of Student Engagement, 92% of fourth-year students rate their overall experience at STU as good/excellent. There are reasons why these students rated their STU experience so highly.


Greater Personal Gains in Knowledge and Skills

STU students were significantly more likely than students at other Canadian/Maritime universities to report greater gains in their knowledge, skills, and development by learning how to:

  • Think critically and analytically
  • Write clearly and effectively
  • Speak clearly and effectively
  • Solve complex, real-world problems
  • Become an informed, active citizen

Effective Faculty
STU students rate faculty significantly higher than their Canadian/Maritime counterparts for effective teaching practices such as explaining course goals/requirements, teaching in an organized way, using examples, and providing feedback.

Connecting Education 

Students also gave STU higher grades for social and civic engagement such as:

  • Including diverse perspectives in discussions or assignments
  • Emphasizing events that address important social or political issues
  • Connecting learning to societal issues

Cohesive Learning
STU’s teaching very successfully encourages students to combine ideas from different courses, include diverse perspectives, and examine their own views critically.