7 Things to Know About the Student Diversity Census

The University of Alberta's new Student Diversity Census is in your inbox—here's what it means for you.


On Monday, November 15, 2021, all students received the University of Alberta's new Student Demographic Diversity Census in their inboxes. This survey is for everyone: we encourage you to take a few minutes to fill it out. The census will give us a clear picture of the demographic makeup of the university community and help us to promote a more equitable, diverse and inclusive U of A over the long term. Here is why this survey is important:

1. Your answers matter

Each member of the University of Alberta holds a unique perspective, so we need and value your participation to get a more complete picture of our university community.

This information will enable the university to better understand the current student landscape, helping us to identify opportunities to improve supports for U of A students, and to better promote an equitable, diverse and inclusive culture on our campuses. The census results will also serve as a baseline against which the university can measure its future efforts to promote and support equity, diversity and inclusivity. 

2. It should take less than 10 minutes

The multiple-choice survey questions will take less than ten minutes to respond to, though there is also space to leave detailed comments at the end.

3. The census is new this year

This is the first time a census like this has been shared with the student community, so you will not be repeating a survey you've taken previously.

4. All students will receive an invitation to the survey

The census link you get by email will be unique, so please don't forward it or use another link to record your responses.

5. Census data will be held confidentially and securely

Data collected from the Student Demographic Diversity Census will be held confidentially and securely, separate from formal student records. For the purposes of analysis only, data will be connected to relevant student data using confidential, secure, anonymized student identifiers (not official student IDs). Access to census data will be strictly limited to those who manage the U of A's census. Any publicly reported results will be limited to aggregated totals; findings will only be presented for groups of people to ensure that no individual can be identified.

6. A team that includes students helped to build the census

We're fortunate to have many EDI experts right here at the U of A, several of whom consulted on and helped to build the census. The Student Equity Survey Advisory Group brought together student representatives, academics, and administrative staff to develop the census, which was based on the university’s employee census. In addition to the student representatives who participated in the work group, student feedback was gathered and incorporated through a series of focus groups.

7. You can decline to answer questions

Completing the census is voluntary, and you can decline to answer any of the questions.  "I prefer not to answer" is an available option for every question on the survey.


Anyone with questions or concerns is welcome to contact equity@ualberta.ca for assistance.

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