Student Communications Survey

What is the student communications survey?

Every two years, the UWaterloo Life team conducts a survey to understand our students' preferences when it comes to communications from the University. The most recent version was in field in Winter 2023 and the results are being compiled and prepared for reporting. Previous versions of the survey were conducted in winter 2015, 2019, and 2021, allowing us to analyze trends over time with their results

We communicate with students through many channels, so we want to ensure we're meeting our students' needs when it comes to communications from the University.

Our objectives for the survey are to find out from Waterloo students:

  • Where they want to get information from the university
  • What kind of information do they want to receive in each of those channels
  • Who they consider to be important sources of information on campus
  • How satisfied they are with communications from the university 

The survey findings help to guide our work and the work of communicators across campus. By better understanding student communications preferences, we can be more effective in getting important information to our students and thereby achieving our collective goal of helping students to be successful at Waterloo.

What are the key takeaways from 2021?

  • Students continue to identify email as their preferred communication channel for all types of information.
  • Most students are satisfied with university communications, and agree they are receiving the information they need regarding COVID-19.
  • In contrast to 2019, most students are using a laptop or desktop as their primary way to read email.
  • Professors and the Office of the President (new in 2021) are most often considered an important source of information on campus.
  • Instagram, Facebook and Reddit are the top social channels that students look for information from the University.
  • Students are looking to campus communicators for simplified communications.
  • Students still prefer to receive fewer emails from the University despite identifying it as their preferred channel for all types of information.
  • Students continue to want to receive official information from the University via email. They are likely to choose social media for information about student life and services.
  • Students believe the University demonstrates care and concern through their communications.

Want more information? 

Review the 2021 Student Communications Survey Final Report. In it, you'll find more details about the survey sample, graphs showing key results, comparisons, and tips for how to apply the findings to student communications initiatives. You can also download the 2019 Student Communications Survey Final Report (PDF) and 2015 student communications survey results (PDF)

Please contact us to learn more about the survey.