Laurier “three-peats” with a No. 1 ranking in student satisfaction for three consecutive years

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For the third consecutive year, Wilfrid Laurier University has ranked No. one in the “student satisfaction” section of Maclean’s annual rankings of Canadian Universities survey.

More than 23,000 students were surveyed, across 15 universities, to get their insight on a number of topics to determine in what areas schools have been the most successful at creating the ideal student experience.

This survey ranked Laurier according to the perceived quality of a number of essential campus and administrative services, including Student Life, Administrative and Academic Advising Staff, Extracurricular Activities and Residence Living.

Laurier ranked No. one in all of these categories, as well as No. two in Course Instructors, No. one in Promoting Indigenous Visibility and No. five in Steps to Prevent Sexual Assault.

But what exactly does a high ranking in “student satisfaction” mean for a Canadian university?

“He said to me: ‘that has exactly been my experience [at Laurier]. When I was at this other university, I was very much a number and I didn’t feel like I had a relationship with the campus or a relationship with the faculty and staff. I didn’t feel like people were really trying to help me as an individual to have a really fulfilling and meaningful experience’.”

For Leanne Holland Brown, dean of students for the Waterloo campus, it means reputation as well as the opportunity to quantify the quality of the university staff’s work, especially when she gets the chance to talk to students and family who have been to Laurier or are considering it as a university.

“When we think about the goal of having students feel pleased and feel proud to have chosen Laurier and indicating that if they had to make the same choice again they would again choose Laurier, thats a huge compliment,” Holland Brown said.

“Part of my job as the dean of students is to deliver on a promise that we make to students when they pick Laurier — that we will do what we can to ensure that they have a positive, difference-making experience at Laurier.”

It also helps parents and students to navigate the process of choosing a university depending on what is most important to them.

For some, student satisfaction is.

“I was actually having a conversation earlier this week with a gentleman who spent his first years at a large university,” Holland Brown said.

“He said to me: ‘that has exactly been my experience [at Laurier]. When I was at this other university, I was very much a number and I didn’t feel like I had a relationship with the campus or a relationship with the faculty and staff. I didn’t feel like people were really trying to help me as an individual to have a really fulfilling and meaningful experience’.”

“[He said] ‘I can honestly say every class — even the ones I haven’t liked — every interaction I’ve had with staff at Laurier has really made me feel the way you’ve described,” she said.

For Holland Brown, one of the most important things about being ranked No. one in student satisfaction is what it means for the future of the school.

“I have the really unique opportunity in my role to be able to tell the story of Laurier — to be able to tell the story of the Laurier student experience,” Holland Brown said.

“I think we are doing a better job telling our story, sharing our successes and being proud of celebrating where we have done things really well”

“[I think] that story being more out there in the world also helps contribute to an awareness about what a special place Laurier is,” she said.

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