The E-city student cohort

At the beginning of May 2023, E-city will launch its student cohort, targeting the 42,000 students in the 7 faculties, 8 schools and institutes and 33 laboratories that make up the Université de Paris-Est Créteil (UPEC).


This cohort project has several objectives :

  • Establish a snapshot of the student population every year for ten years ;
  • Follow students’ career paths over several years ;
  • Identify students’ health and social problems ;
  • Enable UPEC to evaluate the systems in place at the university, and propose concrete actions (assistance with care, new support systems, communication on best practices and existing aid, etc.).
  • Provide material for scientific research in various disciplines. For example, the questionnaire could be used to answer questions such as: « What influence do socio-economic conditions have on the success of UPEC students ? or « What is the relationship between mental health risks and student insecurity ?

You can consult the first results of the 2023 questionnaire, with this First Results Booklet designed by Mélina Kubiak!

A holistic questionnaire

The student cohort questionnaire is intended to be holistic, since it questions multiple, cross-cutting themes in order to understand global health factors. More specifically, it should enable us to question the levers of students’ life and health trajectories, using a multifactorial approach to explore what makes them feel good, succeed and enjoy a good quality of life. The questionnaire therefore includes aspects relating to the social environment of individuals, their urban environment, their health trajectory, the resources they have at their disposal and the difficulties they are likely to encounter.


The questionnaire comprises around 100 questions divided into 5 themes:


I/ « Studies and student life », in which students are asked about their university career and their experiences at university. This section contains around 20 questions.

II/ « Health », in which students are asked about their health since the start of the academic year (illnesses and disabilities, access to and use of health services, diet and physical activity, etc.). This is a central theme of the questionnaire, which will enable us to understand the effects of students’ state of health on their study conditions, and vice versa. This section comprises around 20 questions.

III/ « Living environment », which concerns students’ modes of transport, their accommodation and their neighbourhood. It is important for understanding their general living environment, what constitutes their environment as a student, over and above health-related aspects. It also helps to contextualize other factors that contribute to an understanding of health. This section comprises around 15 questions.

IV/ « Personal situation », in which we look at all the elements that make up a student’s daily life outside university (professional and extra-professional activities, human and material resources and difficulties, etc.). As with the living environment theme, we believe that these elements are just as important to students’ health and involvement in their studies. This section comprises around 15 questions.

V/ Finally, the « socio-demographic characteristics » section, which contains questions just as important as the previous ones, and which will enable us to analyze the extent to which study conditions at Université Paris-Est Créteil and students’ overall health vary according to characteristics such as: students’ age, parents’ age, the place where they grew up, etc. This final section contains around ten questions.

A long process of co-construction

The student cohort questionnaire emerged from a number of consultations and studies previously carried out by E-city with the UPEC student population (examples here and here). It was also built in collaboration with university departments, in particular the University Health Service and the Department of Studies and Student Life, and with a team of UPEC researchers: geographers, sociologists and mental health researchers. Finally, the questionnaire was reworked with the university’s personal data protection officer, to ensure compliance with the rules governing the protection of collected data, particularly health data. These rules are explained in the survey’s information leaflet.

The questionnaire is distributed via UPEC’s Résus+ service, and the eCampus application, a service platform used by all students enrolled at the university. This resonance chamber should enable our questionnaire to reach over 1,000 students each year, forming a large-scale cohort that will be monitored throughout their studies.

A control cohort

For our E-city team, this student cohort is a control cohort, enabling us to test our methodology on a local population with a view to launching our general cohort in 2025. In this way, we gain experience in a number of areas:

  • questionnaire formulation and structuring,
  • personal data security rules and issues,
  • presentation and distribution of the questionnaire to a wide audience,
  • animating a community of participants and mobilizing them around a scientific research project.


This student cohort project will thus support a wider research project for the benefit of the Eastern and Southern Ile-de-France region.


If you’re a UPEC student and would like to join the cohort, click here.