The survey asks students about their experiences of higher education. It is designed to inform developments within institutions while also providing a national set of data - "National Survey, Local Impact"

The survey runs in Feb/Mar (semester two) to ensure that first years have enough experience of higher education to comment in an informed way, while avoiding the additional demands on all students' time (first year, final year and taught postgraduates) towards the end of the academic year.


More than 27,000 students from 30 higher education institutions took part in the 2015 survey during February – March 2015. Almost 60,000 students have participated since the national pilot survey in 2013. 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 institutuons. The report of national results will be published at the start of November.

The 2016 survey, which has been improved and shortened, will open next February – March.


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 (Institutes of Technology Ireland, IOTI, and the Irish Universities Association, IUA) 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 IOTI, Fumbally Lane, Dublin 8.