Exit Survey 2021: Opinion

Edited by Neha Cherian

Note: T5E’s Exit Survey 2021 was conducted in the month of June to study graduating students’ perspectives on life at IIT Madras. The survey had a total of 374 responses across the entire 2020 graduating class (UG + PG) of which around 65% of the participants were UGs (B.Tech + DD+ MA) and the remaining were PGs (Msc + MTech + MBA + PhD + MS).

The survey explored various aspects of a student’s life such as Lifestyle, Personal, Career, Academics, Extra-curricular and Opinion.

In this article, we delve into the opinions held by the students with regard to their insti life, hostels, activities and much more. So let’s get started!

1. Insti Food & Hostels

Nearly 75% of the respondents were content with the hostel room and room space. Although a few students were dissatisfied with the small and cramped rooms, they were relatively few in number.

Surprisingly, around 45% of the respondents felt that the quality of the mess was better than what they had expected. Six exceptional respondents even declared that mess food was the best thing they had ever had! 

2. Disciplinary Committee (DisCo)

159 respondents (approximately 73%) felt that consumption and circulation of narcotics should be banned in insti and seriously penalised.

The offence that was third most deserving of DisCo was plagiarism in assignments/tutorials, with a significant set of people (around 40%) believing that it merits disciplinary action.

Most of the respondents did not seem to be against mass bunking, with only 18% of them, supporting strict action against it.

3. Insti activities

The majority of the respondents felt that insti life has truly helped develop their social and communication skills. This can be imputed to the abundant personality building opportunities that are entailed in being part of teams, clubs and several other PORs in insti.

Academic/research skills were given the second highest priority by 65% of the respondents. A possible reason for this could be the research-based environment that IITM provides.

With regards to insti elections, more than half of the respondents were regular voters. Unfortunately, a significant 10% of the respondents did not participate in the voting process at all.

4. Inter-Hostel activities

 An overwhelming majority of the respondents (around 64%) gave the inter-hostel rivalries and culture a score above 3 out of 5. The average score across all the respondents was very close to the median 3. 

The aforementioned respondents showed surprisingly poor enthusiasm towards Litsoc and TechSoc.  41.2% of the respondents gave the former a dismal score of 1 and the latter got the same score from 48.5% of the respondents. 

However, there seems to be comparatively more enthusiasm for Schroeter as the percentage of respondents rating it 1 was only 24.8%, while 30% of the crowd gave it a perfect score of 5.

The statistics indicate that people are more inclined towards inter-hostel sports competitions as compared to cultural or tech competitions.

5. IITM administration’s student healthcare management 

A large number of respondents (nearly 47%) believed that IITM has performed dismally in handling the mental health of its students during the pandemic. The same can be observed from the poor score of 1 (out of 5) given to the IITM administration by nearly half of the respondents.

A mere 30% of the respondents gave the administration a score of above 3 for this criteria. UG and PG students responded similarly- approximately 15% of the respondents in each category rated the administration above 3. The average score across all the respondents is nearly 2 out of 5, which says it all.

6. Personal views

As expected, more than half of the respondents feel that the pandemic has severely affected their aspirations to cherish the last few phases of their insti life. However, around 152 (out of 332) respondents did not really have any aspirations to fulfill and are happy with whatever they have achieved in insti.

Naturally, a whopping 85% of the respondents wish for an offline convocation whenever possible.

7. What will you cherish the most about insti?

The respondents were asked to mention the one thing that they would cherish the most after graduation. There were 200 diverse responses relating treasured memories from insti.

One of the PG respondents had the following thought to express – 

I really liked the attitude/energy of the institute. The overall experience was eye-opening. People who are doing their UG here may not appreciate it much but we, who have come for our PG after having studied in other Tier-2 universities, definitely do!

Another student had the following to say –

There are too many things to list which I can’t forget. The #1 however is the freedom you have as a student. The utter lack of responsibility. The blind optimism about the future. The feeling that I could try out anything I want and it doesn’t matter if I fail at it. Man I’ll really really miss insti :/

A selection of some of the best responses: 

At one point during the pandemic, I started missing the classes and exams and even the mess food, so you get an idea how desperate I was to get back to insti. I will cherish every small and big moment I had in insti, be it  the friends, the hostel life, the campus in general, the nightlife of insti, the daily life was tiring and frustrating at some point but it was good, better than what we’ll ever experience in our lives, in my opinion, my 3.75 years spend in college is the best time of my life and whatever comes next won’t even come close to what I experienced in insti.

Best infrastructure with excellent resources and good faculty

Insti taught me the importance of fighting for what you want.

Bestowed freedom, infinite opportunities, people from different backgrounds, it was altogether a great culture

The general sentiments of the respondents can be distilled in the illustration below– 

8. Conclusion – 

The majority of the respondents were satisfied with their hostel rooms and living spaces. A small set of people found their rooms cramped and unsatisfactory. 

Surprisingly, close to half of the respondents reviewed the mess food positively. They even felt that it exceeded their expectations!

Around 75% of the respondents believed that consumption and circulation of narcotics should be strictly prohibited. Plagiarism in assignments/tutorials was given the third highest priority by the respondents under offences to be penalised by DisCo.

The respondents felt that social/interpersonal skills and academic/research skills contributed the most to their overall development in insti, which is quite self-explanatory given the abundant opportunities available at IITM. With regards to insti elections, more than half of the respondents voted regularly. 

A majority of the respondents gave inter-hostel rivalries a positive score of 3 and above (out of 5), with the average score (2.8) being close to the median.

A vast set of people showed more interest in Schroeter than in LitSoc and TechSoc competitions.

Many respondents felt that IITM has poorly handled the mental health of its students during the pandemic. The average score given to the IITM management across all respondents was a mere 2 (out of 5).

The pandemic has dashed the hopes of the students, more than half of whom simply wanted to enjoy the last phase of their insti life. Naturally, more than 80% of the respondents aspire for an offline convocation whenever insti reopens.

Take a look at other articles in the Exit Survey 2021: Exit Survey 2021: Personal and Demographics – The Fifth Estate, IIT Madras (t5eiitm.org)

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