Conducted and prepared by Nishant Makhijani, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign ’15
During February 2015, we conducted an online survey to explore demand for this project in our second biggest market, the United States of America. The question was: “If you were applying for university, how interested would you be in a degree where you could study at a different Canadian university each year?”
253 respondents completed the survey. Responses were very positive, with 38% (95 people) very interested, 48% (122 people) interested, and 14% (36 people) not interested:
242 of these respondents were American citizens from 25 different states, with 37% (91 people) very interested, 49% (118 people) interested, and 14% (33 people) not interested:
We surveyed targeting three types of groups based on current education. The bulk of our respondents were undergraduate students, as well as high school students, graduate students, and others who took the survey:
Among the undergraduate and graduate student population (244), we were interested in two specific groups: those with study abroad experience and those without any study abroad experience. It was noteworthy that both groups were very positive towards the idea but those with study abroad experience were more likely to be a part of this program:
We were also interested to see what aspects of the joint undergraduate program appealed to the university students and the travel opportunities and unique educational experience stood out for most students:
We received some very critical and important feedback from survey, both positive and negative. One of the respondent’s said “I believe this offers a very unique opportunity giving students a chance to learn in an ever evolving and exciting atmosphere. The dynamics sound intriguing and I think the diversity would benefit the learning experience by creating more culturally aware graduates.” While one raised the issue about the lack of opportunities to make deep connections with professors and other peers not in the cohort. We also noticed that some students enjoy the large community offered in public university in america and didn’t feel comfortable moving from one campus to another. They believe that the possibilities of maintaining a network are better if students stay in one location and utilize the benefits of one-semester study abroad programs. Students were also interested in including American universities in the program in the future as it would make the program more popular and beneficial, both for Canadian students interested in expanding their intellectual horizons by experiencing the US education system, and also allowing US students to do the same by traveling to Canada.