The majority of University of Canterbury students report that they still feel safe following the 22 February earthquake (70 per cent) and say that they would recommend the University to other students (90 per cent) according to a recent survey of UC students.
While there are a number of students who are still finding aftershocks stressful or very stressful (12 per cent), most still feel safe after the earthquake (70 per cent).
More than 4500 responses were collected over a 16-day period for the 2011 Christchurch (February 22) Earthquake Student Survey. The survey followed up on a UC survey of students, which was conducted after the 4 September 2010 Canterbury earthquake.
The survey was designed collaboratively between the University’s service units and the Natural Hazards Research Centre. It asked students to give feedback on their experiences and behaviours immediately following a major earthquake, giving the University’s response and recovery operations a chance to invite feedback from students and gave students an opportunity to communicate their experience and perceptions of the performance of University during the earthquake crisis.
Most respondents reported that they felt okay after two weeks (72 per cent) with the number of students reporting that they felt okay at the time of responding to the survey (10 weeks after the 22 February earthquake) rising to 87 per cent.
While approximately 46 per cent (1900) reported that they had left Christchurch after the earthquake, a large majority said they had since returned to the city. Only six per cent (108) reported that they have left permanently.
Students also made a great contribution to the city's recovery with 2055 respondents reporting that they volunteered to help during the weeks after the earthquake.
Most students did not rate the loss of city entertainment venues and options as a significant disruption to their study or an important factor in their study experience at UC overall.
The majority of respondents reported that they lived in accommodation that was undamaged or slightly damaged (84 per cent). 96 per cent of respondents reported that they were able to continue living in their accommodation.
The University received praise from students for its post-earthquake response, particularly in terms of its communication efforts.
Most respondents rated both the University response on the day and over the first two months since the earthquake as satisfactory or more than satisfactory (96 per cent). Ninety-six per cent also found the UC updates and news after the earthquake useful or very useful. Students also remained positive about UC as a place to study with 90 per cent reporting that they would recommend UC to other students. 82 per cent of respondents who were not graduating at the end of 2011 reported that they would be enrolling at UC next year with only one per cent of respondents reported that they intend to transfer to another university.
The survey results will be used to support ongoing student recovery and will inform the University’s response to any future emergency events.
University of Canterbury Vice-Chancellor Dr Rod Carr expressed his gratitude to the students who responded to the survey.
“The information provided by our students is important as we move forward in terms of providing our students with solutions to the issues that they rate as of highest concern in the survey, such as reduced access to laboratories, study space, teaching staff and library resources. We have already made significant progress in these areas and are continuing to work hard to meet the needs of our students. We realise that factors such as these are crucial to a successful learning environment for our students.
“I would like to personally thank the students who took part in the survey for sharing their views with us, and to thank all of our students for their willingness to be flexible and patient with us. We are very pleased to see that so many of our students have come through the challenges of the past few months with such resilience.”