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Study Environment Survey 2023

Student well-being is improving

This year's results from the Study Environment Survey (SMU) are in, and there is a marked improvement in the well-being of SDU students compared to the last survey in 2021, which is thought to have been affected by the coronavirus lockdown.

Student well-being is on the rise again and has almost reached the same level as before the coronavirus pandemic. This is according to this year’s study environment survey, which has just been published.

The students have rated SDU’s general study environment on a scale from 0 to 10 (from very negative to very positive). This year’s survey achieves an average score of 6.9, which is the same level as in 2015 and close to the same as in 2019, when the study environment was rated at 7.2.

There is also a positive improvement in the responses to the questions about academic and social communities, the range of academic and social events and general well-being, and fewer students report feeling lonely during their studies.

- It’s a huge relief to me that the figures are at pre-coronavirus levels. This reassures us that we can continue our focus on maintaining a good study environment and supporting strong academic communities. We want our students to thrive because well-being is the foundation for learning and development, says Helle Waagepetersen, pro-rector for education at the University of Southern Denmark.

Still some work to do

According to SDU’s Pro-Rector, the good results from the SMU have generated more energy for continuing the good initiatives.

For example, efforts must be made to counteract the increasing tendency for stress symptoms among the students. In this year’s study environment survey, 28% of the respondents stated that they experience stress symptoms in connection with their studies, compared to 27% in the previous survey.

- The faculties deserve a lot of praise – because the figures in the study environment survey are created in everyday life, and the excellent results in this year’s SMU are due to persistent and focused initiatives by the individual study programmes. We now have a good starting point for further work on well-being in the study environments, says Helle Waagepetersen.

The survey achieved an overall response rate of 38.3%.

Editing was completed: 19.05.2023