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Sense of community the strength of Redeemer

Written on November 10th, 2011

A typical student at Redeemer University College may be in a class with 15 or 20 people creating an intimate learning environment that Tim Wolfert says is a major factor in the high degree of student satisfaction shown in the results of the Globe and Mail’s annual Canadian University Report.

On Oct. 25, the results of the annual survey of 33,000 students from 60 Canadian universities were released and Redeemer has maintained its high standard of student satisfaction.

In 12 of 19 key criteria, such as student-faculty interaction or research opportunities, Redeemer’s grades were either the highest, or tied for the highest in its class of universities with an enrolment of fewer than 4,000 students.

“The thing that pleases us the most is this is recorded by students; it’s their appreciation of the education that they’re receiving here,” says Wolfert, who works in communications services at Redeemer.

He points to the sense of community the school inherently fosters through small classes and the ease of interaction between faculty, staff and students as one of the institution’s great strengths.

“These results demonstrate again the high quality of university education that we provide and the impressive dedication and care that our faculty and staff take for our students and their learning,” says Redeemer University College president Dr. Hubert Krygsman, in a news release.

“It also shows that students value the community and the environment that is found at Redeemer. We recognize that as an integral part of their university experience, and it is something that we are very intentional about developing.”

When Wolfert looks at the survey results in terms of what they mean for the future of independent education, along with the relationship between the university and other Ontario Alliance of Christian Schools (OACS) member schools, from which he guesses as many as 80 per cent of Redeemer’s students originate, he’s optimistic.

“There’s a familiarity that students have, especially those from (OACS) schools, of worldview and perspective … and they walk in here and there’s a context that they’re familiar with,” he says.

“The type of education that Redeemer offers is something that students and parents are seeking. There’s a lot of students who are striving for and looking for that type of community experience; a place where they have access to faculty members on a regular basis.”

That experience, coupled with the worldview that a Christian education provides, is what Wolfert says will keep the university strong moving into the future.