Institutions are represented on various working groups and these staff are central to the partnership approach being taken to plan and implement the national StudentSurvey.ie and PGR StudentSurvey.ie.
Staff, including academic and student support services, have a significant role to play to encourage students to participate, as well as in interpretation of anonymised results. The greatest benefit of StudentSurvey.ie and PGR StudentSurvey.ie will be achieved at institutional level where there is significant participation by students, thus increasing the reliability and value of overall results. Please consider using the promotional materials provided to remind students about the survey. Please mention the surveys to students at suitable opportunities. The greatest incentive for students to participate is for them to see that staff value the feedback given and seek to make use of the results.
We want to hear students’ views on their experience of higher education. Students have a major contribution to make in influencing the design of curricula, and in reviewing and providing feedback on their experience of college. Good student feedback will contribute to students experiencing an education that is relevant and responsive to their personal development and growth as fully engaged citizens within society. The National Strategy for Higher Education to 2030 report recommends that higher education institutions should put in place systems to capture feedback from students to inform institutional and programme management, as well as national policy.
StudentSurvey.ie is directed at first year and final year undergraduate students and taught postgraduate students, and PGR StudentSurvey.ie is directed at all postgraduate research students. The surveys will involve all of these students, whether full-time or part-time, on campus or distance/ e-learning.
The surveys are completely confidential. Students will follow a link in an invitation email or access the survey directly from this website in the case of both StudentSurvey.ie and PGR StudentSurvey.ie. Any data that could be used to identify individual students will be removed at the first opportunity. No student will be identifiable in any report from the national project.
The surveys are distributed electronically and open for responses from students in each institution during a specific three-week window in February – March. Students receive an individualised email from the external survey company which includes details of how to access the relevant survey. In addition, the surveys can be accessed directly from this website when it is open for each institution.
All of the anonymised data from your institution are available to your institution. Data collated from all participating institutions are analysed nationally and national results are published each year.
When the national survey window closes, response data will be matched to student contextual demographic data and results will be presented in an agreed format. Data from individual institutions are returned to each participating institution, and are also collated to form a national data set, which is then analysed to inform the national report.
The data are stored securely by the contracted technical system while the survey is open. When the surveys have been completed, these data are ‘cleaned’ to remove any possibility of identifying individuals and returned to the institution. A copy of the data will be stored securely, along with the equivalent data from other institutions, by the HEA.
The surveys are funded by the HEA as a shared service for institutions under its remit. As such, there is no ‘direct cost’ for HEA-designated institutions. It is designed to minimise demands on individual institutions. Most planning, design and implementation is undertaken centrally by StudentSurvey.ie project management. The main cost at local level relates to staff time and any additional resources required to encourage students to participate. Other higher education institutions (not directly under the remit of the HEA) are welcome to discuss participation in the StudentSurvey.ie and the benefits of such participation.
Most institutions use student surveys at programme, course or institutional level. These surveys represent the only opportunity for a comprehensive national survey, delivered consistently in each institution and comparable with international surveys such as the US National Survey of Student Engagement (NSSE). Institutions can analyse data from their own students internally and also relative to all participating institutions nationally, similar institution-types, or international comparable data.
StudentSurvey.ie is offered to all first year students, final year undergraduate and postgraduate students and, therefore, is not an “exit survey”. This survey is not intended for graduates/ alumni. Likewise, PGR StudentSurvey.ie is offered to all postgraduate research students and is not an “exit survey” for these students either.
One set of questions is used for taught students completing the StudentSurvey.ie and a different set of questions is used on PGR StudentSurvey.ie, but the same questions are used for all students invited to take part in each survey.
All institutions have access to their own data. Data will also be collated nationally by the national survey project for analysis. Results of this analysis of national data are published in national reports each year (usually around early November).
All participating institutions are provided with a stock of physical promotional materials to distribute among students as an incentive to participate in the surveys. Digital artwork for social media and online communication is also provided to institutions and can be accessed here. The decision on whether or not to offer incentives, and the nature of these, is made at institutional level in discussion with the students’ union. Research internationally indicates that the most effective incentive is for students to see that their feedback is being acted upon.