Blick vom Jentower

Study Quality Monitor (SQM)

Annual online survey on the quality of studies at German institutions of higher education
view over jena
Image: Sebastian Reuter
Notice

Study Quality Monitor 2018 survey is completed. The results will be published here soon. 

Survey on quality of studies

Annually, the Friedrich Schiller University Jena analyses the quality of studies from its students’ point of view in Study Quality Monitor (SQM). In comparison to the evaluation of teaching activities, this survey takes account of the whole teaching unit, including all study programmes which are the subject of the current survey.

Its main aspects are the supervision in study programmes, the range of courses offered, the interconnectedness of studies with the research and practice, the equipment within study programmes as well as requirements and difficulties in studies. Moreover, the overall satisfaction with the administrative units of the University and their services, for example: student advisory services, examination management, university sports, canteens, libraries.

It is of great benefit to the University that we can compare us with other institutions nationwide directly and gain an overview of the level of our studies, for example, to identify our strengths and those aspects in which we should improve. 

Information on Study Quality Monitor (SQM)

What is »Study Quality Monitor (SQM)«? Show content

It is a nationwide survey on the quality of studies and on the study conditions at German institutions of higher education which is carried out every summer semester. The Friedrich Schiller University Jena has been participating in Study Quality Monitor since 2007.

Commissioned by the institutions of higher education, the survey is carried out and evaluated by German Centre for Higher Education Research and Science Studies (DZHW) and Research Group on Higher Education at the University of Konstanz.

The survey focuses on these areas:

  1. organization and quality of teaching
  2. supervision and advisory services by the teaching staff
  3. requirements, difficulties, and study success
  4. equipment and services of the institution
  5. overall satisfaction
  6. evaluation.
What are the advantages of participating in Study Quality Monitor (SQM)? Show content

Quality of studies from the students’ point of view

How satisfied are you with the quality of studies and the study conditions at our university, for example, with the organization and quality of teaching activities, the supervision and advisory services provided by the teaching staff, or with the equipment and the services of the University in general? In which areas should the University improve?

Identifying strengths and weaknesses

Based on the yearly collected nationwide data relating to specific institutions of higher education, the University can identify strengths and weaknesses, also comparing German-wide representative findings, and introduce measures targeted to specific areas which need to be improved. The more students participate, the more reliable and more informative are the results for the University. The findings of the student survey are available to our faculties and subject-specific student representative committees, to the central administrative units, and our specific service units. These then consult the results with the leadership of the University. At the same time, the series of surveys from 2007 on enable us to analyse any changes in a long term.

Nationwide comparison of results

Based on the additional data collected nationwide, German Centre for Higher Education Research and Science Studies (DZHW) also conducts scientific evaluations for science, politics, and the public. The nationwide findings are published in charts and reports which you can download free of charge.

How can you participate? Show content

The University sends you an invitation per e-mail, including a hyperlink and a password with which you may access the online survey. The password for accessing the online survey is generated randomly so that the actual participant cannot be traced. Potential participants receive an invitation e-mail from the Student Service Centre of the University by e-mail. There are questionnaires available in German and in English.

Where can you find out more about the methodology of the survey? Show content

You can access the summaries of the previous surveys relating to our University as well as the detailed results of the counting online using your University’s account by specific faculties or departments, and teaching units below.

For the nationwide results of German Centre for Higher Education Research and Science Studies (DZHW), please refer to the  official website  where you can download charts and reports free of charge .

How are my personal data treated? Show content

The organizers prepare and carry out the survey in accordance with the valid data protections regulations.

The password for accessing the online survey is generated randomly so that the actual participant cannot be traced. Potential participants receive an invitation e-mail from the Student Service Centre of the University by e-mail. The University assures you that it will prevent your personal data from any illegal access by third parties. After the end of the data collection phase, any corresponding address-related data will be deleted.

The survey data are evaluated by German Centre for Higher Education Research and Science Studies (DZHW) in cooperation with the Research Group on Higher Education of the University of Konstanz. The evaluation complies with the valid data protection regulations, too. The data collected in the survey will not be linked to the address-related data to prevent any conclusions about the answers provided by particular participants.

Points of contact Show content

If you have further questions on Study Quality Monitor or on the data protection, please do not hesitate to contact:

Coordinator of Study Quality Monitor of the University

Claudia Hüttner

Division 1 – Student Affairs

Fürstengraben 1
07743 Jena
Tel.  + 49 3641 9-3 11 41
Fax: + 49 3641 9-3 11 42

Data Protection Officer of the University

Dr. Stefanie Buchmann

Legal Office

Fürstengraben 1
07743 Jena
Tel.  +49 3641 9-31087
Fax. +49 3641 9-31082

Data Protection Officer (DZHW)

Martin Fuchs

Deutsches Zentrum für Hochschul- und Wissenschaftsforschung (DZHW)

Lange Laube 12
30159 Hannover

Results in brief: strengths and weaknesses

Generally, our students are rather satisfied with the study conditions at the University. 70% of our students are extremely satisfied with their study environment and 80% of students enjoy studying at the University of Jena. However, there are some areas in which they consider the study conditions not as positive. This kind of feedback is critical to us, too.

You may view all results of Study Quality Monitor on this website. For the full reports of the previous years, you must login using your personal access data.

Survey 2017 Show content

Generally, our students are rather satisfied with the study conditions at the University. 70% of our students are extremely satisfied with their study environment and 80% of students enjoy studying at the University of Jena. However, there are some areas in which they considered the study conditions not as positive. This kind of feedback was critical to us, too.

Our strengths 

  • 70% of our students considered their professors as extremely committed (very good/good: 72.4%; universities in general: 67.7%).
  • In their opinion, the range of courses offered at the University of Jena was more diversified as those at other universities (very good/good : 65.5%; other universities: 61.9%).
  • Generally, our students were more satisfied with the knowledge and skills already acquired than their fellow students at other universities (extremely satisfied/satisfied: 62.5%; other universities: 59.2%).
  • Rather positive was also their evaluation of the equipment available (extremely satisfied/satisfied: 71.3%; other universities: 59.5%) and the number of students within particular study programmes (extremely satisfied/satisfied: 67%; other universities: 56.8%).

Our weaknesses

  • Around 40% of students found their professors had not not prepared them for examinations and tests well which was—observing the nationwide average—still less critical (extremely poor/poor: 37.9%; other universities: 45.6%).
  • The half of the students wished more feedback from their professors on the academic performance, for example, feedback on seminar papers, examinations, and other written assignments (extremely poor/poor: 50.3%; other universities: 55.5%)
  • The half of our students found that professors had not provided enough relevant examples during their courses (insufficient/rather too less: /University of Jena/: 51.3%; other universities: 50.4%).
  • According to two thirds of all students, stays abroad were only possible with great difficulties and resulting in longer duration of their studies (rather complicated: 66.7%; other universities: 68.8%).

What have we implemented already?

  • In the past years, students complained about the lack of reading areas and group study rooms at our University. The leadership of the University reacted by establishing new group study rooms and individual study zones at various locations. How did the students react? Their satisfaction with the additional services and the availability of study zones increased slightly being higher than the average nationwide value (extremely satisfied/satisfied: 36.5% (2017), 26.7% (2014); other universities: 30.5% (2017) versus 29.4% (2014). Nonetheless, more than a third of our students still find the existing facilities not sufficient. We will make every effort to improve these conditions.
  • Our students wished more project-related courses. Three quarters of the participants thought that working with other students on a joint scientific assignment was critical to their studies (extremely useful/useful: 73.8%; other universities: 71.3%). In their opinion, the University did not offer enough courses of that kind (did not use it as I did know of it: 28.7%; other universities: 22.8%). Surely, this was one of the weak aspects, but the University has already made some improvements. In June 2017, the University established the Academy for Teaching Development, the Vice-President for Learning and Teaching set a new goal—to develop strategies and quality criteria for the organization of studies and teaching activities together with the faculties and the Centre for Teacher Training and Educational Research. One of the novelties, was the introduction of the Award for Teaching Achievements. The University is committed to support additional innovative teaching concepts in the future.
Survey 2016 Show content

The overall satisfaction with the study conditions at the University was high. 70% of our students were extremely satisfied with the conditions here, while 81% of the students enjoyed studying here. However, there were some areas in which they consider the study conditions not as positive.

Our strengths 

  • Similar to the results in the previous years, the students were rather satisfied with the contact to their professors during their office hours and beyond (extremely satisfied: 86%; satisfied: 68.6%) and with their commitment (extremely satisfied/satisfied: 73.4%).
  • Our students considered the range of courses offered as more diversified as those at other universities (very good/good /University of Jena/: 66.2%; other universities: 61.7%).
  • Over 70% of our students were satisfied with the facilities of the University and the technical equipment of the course rooms, with the availability of EDP workplaces, with the opening hours of the PC areas as well as with the WiFi hotspots of the University.

Our weaknesses 

  • Generally, our student wished a better preparation for seminar papers, written examinations, and other written assignments as well as more feedback. Apparently, this opinion was already expressed in the survey 2015. Only a half of our students was satisfied with the preparation for examinations (extremely satisfied/satisfied: 51.7), while a third of them wished to receive more feedback on their performance (extremely poor/poor: 29.7%).
  • The practical orientation in courses, i.e. the courses containing practical experience or the chance to gain practical experience during one’s studies, and to do one’s own research, appeared to be more important to our students compared to their fellow students at other universities. They considered this aspect as rather well implemented within their own subject (extremely well/well: 51.8%), but the range of offers at our University could have been even better (extremely well/well: 40.8%).

What have we implemented already?

  • In the past years, students complained about the lack of reading areas and group study rooms at our University. In 2016, the leadership of the University reacted by establishing new group study rooms and individual study zones at various locations. How did students react? Their satisfaction with the additional services and the availability of study zones increased slightly being higher than the average nationwide value (extremely satisfied/satisfied: 39.3% (2016), 34.4% (2015); other universities: 28.6% (2016). Nonetheless, more than a third of our students still find the existing facilities not sufficient. We will make every effort to improve these conditions.
Survey 2015 Show content

All in all, the majority of our students were extremely satisfied with the study conditions at the University (70.3%; other universities: 64.5%) and enjoyed studying here (80.8%; other universities: 75.9%).

Our strengths 

  • Compared to other universities in Eastern and Western Germany, our students found that they had been better prepared for their examinations (64.6%, other universities: 55.6%), had received more feedback on their assignments (extremely satisfied/satisfied: 52.6%; other universities: 44.5%) and better explanations on planning their studies (43.3%; other universities: 29.9%).
  • Students in the initial phase of their studies rather use various services as students of other universities. In particular, these are orientation events (visited: 48.3%; other universities: 44.8%), tutoring programmes (41.6%; other universities: 35.8%), and mentoring programmes for general support and planning one’s studies (30.9%; other universities: 21.1%).

Our weaknesses 

  • Our students found that the supervision available well, however, they wished more feedback on seminar papers, written examinations, and other written assignments. Only around the half of our students were satisfied with the feedback they have received from their professors (extremely satisfied/satisfied: 52.6%; other universities: 44.5%).
  • Our students also considered that their professors should have provided more examples in courses (extremely important/important: 88.3%; other universities: 86.9%; universities in Eastern Germany: 86.8%); there should have been also more courses providing practical skills (extremely important/important: 81.4%; other universities: 80.6%; universities in Eastern Germany: 84.4%) or would have preferred to gain more practical experience during their studies (extremely important/important: 84.8%; other universities: 81.9%; universities in Eastern Germany: 84.1%).

What have we implemented already?

In the survey 2015, the housing conditions in Jena is perceived more positive for the first time. The values approached those of other university locations in the western Länder (average value 3; 1 – not satisfied at all; 5 – extremely satisfied). 40% of our students, which was a considerable decrease in comparison to the previous year, were unsatisfied with the housing conditions and the rental costs (not satisfied/not satisfied at all (2015): 41.5%; other universities: 45.5%; other eastern universities: 18.4%; 2014: 54.8%; other universities: 45.9%; other eastern universities: 20.8%).

Compared to other cities in the eastern part of Germany, the rental price level in Jena was substantially higher. By offering additional rooms in halls of residence, the situation in Jena is still not good, but it is at least comparable with the student opinion from the western university locations.

Information

For further details on Study Quality Monitor (SQM), please refer to:

Results of the survey

Share this page
The Friedrich Schiller University on the social media:
Studying amid excellence:
  • Logo of the "Total E-Quality" initiative
  • Logo of the best practice club "Family in Higher Education Institutions"
  • Logo of the "Partner University of High Performance Sports" project
  • Logo of quality of German Accreditation Council - system accredited
Top of the page