The Canadian University Survey Consortium (CUSC) brings together universities from across the country. We have been assisting the organization with its undergraduate student experience surveys and satisfaction research since 1999.
Each year, we gather over 200 pieces of information per survey, including a core set of fully comparable questions, from 10,000 to 18,000 students depending on the number of participating universities. We prepare an overall report and data set, as well as individual reports and data sets for each participating institution. This allows each institution to examine responses to the core questions over the years, within their own institution, across all participating universities and in addition to the questions they have added over time for their own purposes.
We have been assisting the Canadian University Survey Consortium (CUSC) with its surveys of undergraduate students since 1999. CUSC is a not-for-profit, member-run organization that brings together universities from across the country to conduct student experience and satisfaction research. Read more about CUSC.
Each year, anywhere between 22 and 46 institutions participate in the survey. CUSC operates on a three-year cycle, alternating each year between a survey of first-year students, middle years students and graduating students. While all the surveys maintain a core set of questions that are the same, each survey also includes questions that are unique for those students being surveyed.
While the approach is largely the same for all institutions, we work with individual institutions to address their needs. Institutions can vary the size of their sample, add their own questions and customize the invitations for their students. Each participating institution provides PRA with a list of students to be invited, and the timing during the winter term when they wish the survey to run. Then, we manage all aspects of the survey, including follow-up with non-respondents.
Each of the three surveys gathers over 200 pieces of information. In any given year, the number of respondents has ranged from 10,000 to 18,000 students, depending on the number of participating universities.
We prepare a Master Report and data sets for all institutions, as well as individual reports and data sets for each participating institution. One of the great advantages of the CUSC surveys is that they provide participating institutions with comparators, allowing them to examine responses to core questions over the years and across all participating universities.
Over two decades working with CUSC, our team has transitioned the survey from paper-based to online, and we have worked closely with CUSC to update, add and maintain core questions across each of its three surveys. We also have proposed enhancements and managed experiments using various survey features and tested their impact on response rates.
For over 20 years, we have helped and supported CUSC as its membership grew, providing the consortium with a range of products and services. As a result of this collaboration, our knowledge of and expertise in online surveys has also grown, allowing us to confidently conduct increasingly large and complex online research for a variety of other clients.
Indeed, we have used our experience and expertise developed and honed through our work with CUSC to assist clients such as the Saskatchewan Advanced Education, Manitoba Education and Training, New Brunswick Post-Secondary Education Training and Labour, the Maritime Provinces Higher Education Commission and various post-secondary institutions across Canada including the Universities of Manitoba, Ottawa, Regina, Saskatchewan and Winnipeg..