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A chance for students to shape their working life


									The Magnet South African Student Survey
A chance for students to shape their working life
Introducing the South African Student Survey 2009

The Magnet Student Survey is an annual survey based on information gathered from second and final year
students (studying Commerce, Engineering, Science and Humanities) at all major tertiary institutions in
South Africa.

Both students and their universities benefit from participation in the Magnet Student Survey

The survey encourages students to think proactively about their personal and career goals whilst giving
respondents the unique opportunity to voice their opinions about what they want from their working life and
their future employers. Based on the results from the nationwide survey population, Magnet produces a
ranking list of students' "Ideal Employers" - the companies they would most like to work for. The survey
results are used by employers to enhance their talent attraction strategies with the express purpose of
recruiting and retaining university students as future employees.

The Magnet Student Survey, which is completely independent, is unique in that it is based on, and linked to,
similar surveys carried out overseas. Over 230 000 students at some 400 universities in Europe, the US and
Asia participate in the survey every year. South African students will now, for the fifth time, be able to join
their peers at highly regarded universities such as Cambridge, Oxford, Harvard, MIT, Yale, Sorbonne,
Karlsruhe, etc.

How is the Magnet South African Student Survey conducted?

Participating students are required to complete printed or web-based questionnaires. The survey takes
about 25 minutes to complete and is designed to protect respondents’ anonymity. The Magnet Student
Survey is conducted over a period of about eight weeks. Questionnaires, and/or e-mail invites (with a link),
are distributed in early August.

E-mail invites (with a university- specific link) are distributed by partnering universities to their students. The
highest response rate will be achieved if the initial invite is followed by a reminder approximately one or two
weeks down the line.

The e-mail invites (with their unique link) can be sent to your students in one of two ways:
    a) Internally via the university, or
    b) Externally via our headquarters in Stockholm. This option would require that we have access to
       your database.

The survey is designed to protect respondents’ anonymity

Why do Universities participate?

Participating universities receive, at no charge, a University Report containing detailed data from students at
the institution and comparisons of this data to that of other leading educational institutions across the
country. This custom report helps Career Services to better understand the goals and expectations of their
student population and provides valuable insight to help optimise the depth and breadth of the services they
offer. The survey results and feedback can also help attract employers to your university events such as
career fairs, on-campus presentations, etc…
How do universities participate?
The Magnet Student Survey is mainly focused on second to final year
students. The prime target groups are students within the SET,
Commerce and Humanities faculties.

We highly recommend a wide distribution of the questionnaire to
all students in this target group.

    1.   You distribute paper questionnaires through in-house distribution. Questionnaires will be
         handed out in class or through other commonly used distribution channels (e.g. pigeon holes)
         within the university. Completed questionnaires are collected by you and forwarded to Magnet / you
         request Magnet to collect. This method ensures your control of the whole process and enables you
         to track the response rate.

    2.   Magnet distributes and collects paper questionnaires. Magnet Communications recruits
         student ambassadors, at our expense, to assist in the distribution of questionnaires on campus. We
         may also require a Magnet representative, again at our expense, at your university to handle the
         data collection.

    3.   You distribute an e-mail invite with a link. Magnet will send you an e-mail to be forwarded to the
         students which contains a link to the webpage where the survey can be filled out. We will provide
         you with the basics, but would appreciate it if you could add some personal words for your students
         in the message before sending it out. This is in order to show the seriousness of the survey and
         your support of the student’s participation. Web-based surveys allow for close monitoring.
         Throughout the field period, we closely monitor the response rates at your university. Our
         experience has shown that we will achieve the highest response rate if the invite is followed by a
         reminder to students approximately two weeks down the line.

How to achieve a high response rate

Magnet can help you in different ways to achieve a high response rate from your students:

    •    Articles in your school press: Magnet is happy to provide your local student magazine / paper
         with interesting material before and after the field period revealing input of students’ preferences
         and ideas for the future.
    •    Reminders: Experience has shown that in order to receive a high response rate, students need
         to be reminded. Magnet will provide you with the reminders to be sent out.
    •    Other ideas? No-one knows your students better than you do. Any further suggestions would be
         most appreciated!
About Magnet Communications
Magnet forms part of Universum, which is a global leader in the field of Employer Branding* with operations
in Europe, the US, Asia, Australia and Africa. We help our clients reach one goal: to have a strong appeal on
their current and future ideal employees. To this aim we provide our clients with services in the field of
Research, Strategy and Communications. Our unique competence is based on our extensive global surveys
on the talent market covering more than 230 000 respondents (Student, MBA and Professionals) from 32
countries annually. Our research helps employers improve their recruiting and retention strategies.

*Employer Branding = the process of branding oneself as an employer.

Magnet’s goal is to provide a link between top students and South Africa’s most dynamic employers

The Magnet Student Survey results, released in late November 2006, have received a lot of interest in the
business world and the Ideal Employer ranking list was featured in a number of major South African
publications, including Finweek, Sunday Times and Cape Times.

Magnet’s flagship publication, Companies of the Future, profiles the top ranked employers as voted by
students in the survey. Companies of the Future gives students a unique opportunity to see what companies
have to offer. Magnet’s newest annual publication, the Career Compass is a definitive guide of employers for

The Magnet Surveys are of interest to everyone taking a proactive approach to the working life of
tomorrow – students, employers, governmental institutions, international organisations, media and,
of course, the university world.

 For more information, please contact:

 Vanessa Addison                           Eldrich Steedsman
 Research Manager                          Assistant Project Manager

 Telephone: 021 422-4863                 Telephone: 021 422-4863
 Fax: 021 426 - 4353                     Fax: 021 426 - 4353
 Cell: 084 909-6308                      Cell: 084 574 0931
 E-Mail:                                 E-Mail:      

Magnet Communications Research and Media SA (Pty) Ltd

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