Frequently Asked Questions


01: How do I participate?

02: Why are we doing this survey?

03: Why should I participate in the survey?

04: Will my responses be confidential?

05: Will my responses affect my current studies?

06: What is the view of the students’ union?

07: Is it the same questionnaire for all students?

01: How do I participate?

The ISSE survey is aimed at first year undergraduate, final year undergraduate and taught postgraduate students. The ISSE-PGR survey is a national survey for postgraduate research students. Invitations to participate are sent only to those students in a specific three-week period during February – March. Each institution chooses the most appropriate three-week timeframe to open the survey taking account of local events. Click here for to see what dates the survey is running in your institution.

You can access the survey from this website or by responding to your invitation email.

02: Why are we doing this survey?

We want to hear from all first year, final year undergraduate and taught postgraduate students in the ISSE and all research postgraduate students in the ISSE-PGR. Tell us about your experience of higher education and of your institution. We want to use your feedback to help institutions to identify areas of good practice and areas that may need improvement to enhance the student experience. Have your say now and help build a better education system for Ireland.

03: Why should I participate in the survey?

The survey is designed to help your institution hear from its students. Results from each institution also form part of a national project to engage with students and to hear your experiences of higher education. Institutions and national policy-makers will collect, analyse and report the results of the survey to inform future planning. Feedback will be given by your institution and at national level. This is your opportunity to help your own institution and to influence the future experience of students in higher education.

04: Will my responses be confidential?

Your responses are entirely confidential. Technical delivery of the survey and the collection of responses are managed entirely by an external third party contractor. The technical system is designed to ensure that students’ responses cannot be individually identified by institutions or at national level. You will be receive an email with a link to the survey questions (though the survey will also be accessible from this website). Your email address will be used ONLY to match your responses to background information such as gender, age, full-time or part-time, broad area of study etc. Responses, linked to this information, will be gathered nationally and all information that could be used to identify individual students is removed before data are returned to each institution.

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05: Will my responses affect my current studies?

Your responses are confidential and do not directly affect your current studies. The process is designed to maintain confidentiality while allowing analysis of results at national level. For example, the responses from full-time and part-time students may be different; the responses from students studying on an Arts programme may be different from students studying on an Engineering programme.  No student will be directly affected by their participation in this survey. However, it is expected that institutions will act on overall survey responses over time in order to provide a more effective student experience.

06: What is the view of the students’ union?

The national project has the full support of the Union of Students in Ireland (USI) and local students’ unions. This project is designed to reach out to students and to listen to your experiences – for the benefit of your local institution.

07: Is it the same questionnaire for all students?

One set of questions is used for taught students completing the ISSE and a different set of questions is used on the ISSE-PGR, but the same questions are used for all students invited to take part in each survey. An improved and shortened ISSE survey has been in use since 2016, following detailed review of the questions used in 2013, 2014 and 2015.

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