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Better Studying Conditions Thanks to “TUCpanel”

The second round of the Chemnitz University student survey has begun – participation is possible through May 31, 2018

Conventional student surveys can be a hassle. Lots of boring questions and, in the end, nobody really knows what the results mean. But “TUCpanel” is a different kind of survey. It was created to serve as a continuous monitoring instrument and collects data each year on student satisfaction and the overall conditions for studying. The results will not only be published in a report, but rather will also be incorporated into the university’s quality management and form the basis for long term quality development in academic studies and teaching. Students who began their studies in the 2017/18 winter semester can now complete the “TUCpanel” First-Year Student Survey, which includes questions about their path to beginning their studies as well as their first experiences at Chemnitz University. The survey is only available in German. Access links to each of the surveys will be sent via university email and participation is possible through May 31, 2018.

Through participation in “TUCpanel,” students have the opportunity to get involved and to have a lasting positive impact on the conditions for studying at the university – for themselves and for others. In addition, high rates of participation allow representative conclusions to be drawn regarding studying and teaching at Chemnitz University.

Next Step: Study Progress Survey

The first part of “TUCpanel”, the First-Year Student Survey, was administered for the first time in the 2017 summer semester. Now, the second step has begun: the Study Progress Survey. Alongside traditional questions about student satisfaction and general academic conditions, this survey also focuses on students’ experiences in their chosen field of study. In addition to questions about their awareness of research areas and occupational fields, the Study Progress Survey also includes questions about teaching at the university.

Criteria for Beginning a Course of Study – Results of the First-Year Student Survey

Invitations to take part in the first round of the First-Year Student Survey were sent to 1,107 German students who began a new Bachelor’s degree program or enrolled in the Teacher Training Program in the 2016/17 winter semester. 132 of these students participated.

Future-oriented motives were named most frequently as the reason for beginning an academic degree program. Such motives include the desire for better career prospects and the act of studying itself (learning and obtaining new knowledge). Students’ choice of a particular field of study was primarily dependent on criteria like their own personal interests and abilities as well as occupational opportunities. Students chose the location for their studies predominantly based on financial factors and the relative proximity to their place of residence.

In their first semester, more than half of the survey’s respondents completed exactly as many courses and examinations as designated in the Course Structure Plan. This is also in agreement with the finding that a large majority of the survey’s respondents think that good academic performance is important as well as earning their degree within the standard period of study. As a result, respondents reported spending the majority of their time each week in independent study or in academic courses. New students also reported dedicating a similar amount of time to family responsibilities.

Overall, Chemnitz University received a positive rating. Individual weak areas were identified, such as poor availability of spaces equipped for independent study. Regarding the general organization of study programs, students are increasingly pressed for time as they are faced with numerous examinations and other assessments.

New Students Very Satisfied

New students are particularly satisfied with the support they receive regarding developing professional and personal competencies related to their studies. They desire more support in acquiring key competencies. A clear majority also gave positive ratings to their instructors’ dedication, availability and approachability before and after lectures.

Looking back on their first semester, most of the respondents believed they had chosen the right course of study. If given the chance, they would make the same decision again to study their program at Chemnitz University.

The complete First-Year Student Survey 2017 report and more information about “TUCpanel”: (in German)

Contact: Anne Sanders, Tel.: +49 0371 531-38482, E-mail:

(Author: Anne Sanders /Translation: Sarah Wilson)

Matthias Fejes

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