The survey, which was improved and shortened in 2016, opens during February – March for a three-week period that is specific to each institution.

Almost 60,000 students participated in the original survey from 2013 to 2015. More than 29,000 students responded to the revised survey in 2016 alone, contributing to almost 90,000 respondents, overall, to date. Participating institutions and the national project team are very grateful for their time and contribution. Details and results will be shared widely as they are analysed and interpreted within institutions.


The main purpose of the survey is to provide benefits to each institution and its students by helping to improve feedback and appropriate action. Objectives include:

  • To increase transparency in relation to the student experience in higher education institutions
  • To enable direct student input on levels of engagement and satisfaction with their higher education institution
  • To identify good practice that enhances the student experience
  • To assist institutions to identify issues and challenges affecting the student experience
  • To serve as a guide for continual enhancement of institutions’ teaching and learning and student engagement
  • To document the experiences of the student population, thus enabling year on year comparisons of key performance indicators
  • To provide insight into student opinion on important issues of higher education policy and practice
  • To facilitate comparison with other higher education systems internationally


The Irish Survey of Student Engagement is managed as a collaborative partnership. It is co-sponsored by the Higher Education Authority (HEA), institutions’ representative bodies (the Irish Universities Association, IUA, and the Technological Higher Education Association, THEA) and the Union of Students in Ireland (USI).

The partnership approach in place is an important feature of the project. Working groups, consisting of institutions’ and students’ representatives, manage the national project. A project manager supports the working groups and reports to the co-sponsoring organisations. A third party company provides the online survey system to the national partnership.

Any queries may be directed to or to:

ISSE Project Manager, c/o THEA, Fumbally Square, Fumbally Lane, Dublin 8.