A bridge that links parents and the faculty — Parent survey results

  • Takeo Kubo, Chair of the Academic Affairs Committee for Undergraduate Students
    (Professor, Department of Biological Sciences)
Figure 1

Bar graphs that show the survey results

Every year in March, since 2007 — at the end of each school year — the Faculty/Graduate School of Science conducts a survey for parents of undergraduates and Master's students who are graduating or completing their programs. The aim of this survey is to help improve the future education and research of the School by asking the relevant parents/guardians whether they are happy or not with their children's development. I would like to take this opportunity to express my sincere appreciation for their cooperation on the survey and the comments we have received via the survey.

The questionnaire mainly consists of questions, which request the parents/guardians to compare the feelings they have now and the expectations they had before their children's enrollment. For example, some of the questions asked of the parents/guardians of undergraduate students are: "Do you think your son/daughter has received enough professional education?" and "Are you happy with your son's/daughter's career path?" And the questions asked of the parents/guardians of the Master's students are: "Do you think your son/daughter has worked on research to his/her hearts' content and has received sufficient education?" and "Are you happy with your son's/daughter's career path?" In addition to these questions, there was a free comment box in the questionnaire, through which we have received precious comments from the parents/guardians who filled out the questionnaire.

The return rates of the questionnaire for undergraduates and Master's students were 40% and 25%, respectively. And for each, we have received approximately 50 comments. The survey results — excluding the details that would enable the identification of personal information — have been distributed to the School of Science Faculty Meeting members (professors, associate professors, and lecturers). Although the number of returned questionnaire forms varies from department to department (from 2 to 3 to over a hundred), the satisfaction levels for the above-mentioned questions were as high as over 70% for the undergraduate programs and over 80% for the Master's programs. Fortunately, we have received a lot of thanks in the free comment boxes. On the other hand, there have also been a couple of harsh comments about career support, education methods, and/or communication in laboratories, which have made us keenly realize the necessity of making concerted efforts to address the challenges of these issues with more sincerity. As for career support, we set up a Career Support Office — in collaboration with the Graduate School of Engineering — in April this year (Year 2012). This office handles various requests about job opportunities for undergraduates and graduate students.

Via the questionnaire, we learned that many of the parents look forward to reading the School of Science newsletter (Rigakubu-nyusu). There were comments requesting information about laboratory tours conducted during, for example, the Open Campus. So we would like to consider providing such information via Rigakubu-nyusu. Besides, we update the survey results on the School's website, as necessary, when questionnaires are returned by current students, graduates from the undergraduate programs, and graduates who have completed the Master's and doctoral programs. By making good use of these survey results, including the comments we receive from the parents/guardians of the students, we would like to make our education and research environment more attractive and effective.