The 2021 Student Experience Survey is now open

20 Sep 2021
Student Experience Survey

The Student Experience Survey (SES) asks students for their feedback on their degree and provides them with an opportunity to have their say to help shape the future of education at UNSW.  

The national Student Experience Survey (SES) has just launched to undergraduate and postgraduate coursework students at UNSW. The SES is administered by the Australian Government Department of Education, Skills and Employment and is part of the Quality Indicators for Learning and Teaching (QILT) suite of surveys. In 2020, more than half a million students were invited to participate in the SES across 41 Australian universities. 

The SES gives students the opportunity to reflect on their time at UNSW and is one of the most important surveys students will be asked to complete. The survey aims to capture a holistic view of the student experience by asking students about a range of questions, including about teaching on their program, the quality of the learning resources, the assessment tasks they undertook, the structure of their degree, and the support services provided. Conducted each year since 2012, the SES gives students a powerful voice and helps shape the future of the programs at UNSW.

As well as informing key strategic decisions within the University, high level outcomes from the SES are available to the public on the ComparED website. The outcomes also inform national ratings such asThe Good Universities Guide, Australia's most trusted resource on higher education. 

The pandemic had a considerable effect on the 2020 SES outcomes, both at UNSW and across the higher education sector. Overall satisfaction with educational experience fell across all public universities. While the decrease in overall student satisfaction was clearly disappointing, there are grounds for optimism in how resilient scores at UNSW were in comparison to the rest of the sector. UNSW was one of only four universities to see an improvement in student satisfaction with undergraduate teaching quality, and UNSW led the Go8 in overall satisfaction with the quality of teaching among postgraduate students.

The 2020 National report showing results for each of the 41 institutions that took part can be accessed via the 2020 SES National Report Dashboard.

“I encourage academic staff to support this important research by actively promoting the SES and building awareness among students that their feedback is valued and that their concerns will be acted upon. Taking these surveys seriously is a central component of the Listening, Challenging, Supporting strategy and our efforts to improve continually the UNSW student experience,” said Professor Rorden Wilkinson, Pro Vice-Chancellor Education & Student Experience.

The SES is a holistic view of students’ overall experiences at UNSW. It is different from the myExperience survey which captures students’ experiences of their courses in a given term. Both surveys have been central in shaping the UNSW response to the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Outcomes of myExperience this year have been positive. The myExperience Term 2 2021 outcomes showed that satisfaction with teaching is at an all-time high despite the impact of lockdown. 86% of undergraduate students and 89% of postgraduate students rated their satisfaction with teaching positively. Professor Wilkinson added, “in such an exceptionallychallenging time for staff and students, these results recognise the dedication and collaborative approach of colleagues in supporting and engaging our students. It is heartening to see those efforts recognised in the comments of the Term 2 survey”.

The outcomes of the 2021 SES, now open to over 51,000 UNSW students, will provide important insights into how COVID-19 has continued to shape students’ experiences. It also enables us to understand better how we continue to improve the student experience beyond the pandemic. 

Look out for the campaign

Please support this important research by encouraging your students to complete the survey. Staff can access promotional materials via the PVCESE Teaching Gateway.

Eligible students will receive an email with a direct link to the survey. Survey links will also be available in Moodle. The Student Surveys team will send a link to the 2021 SES response rates dashboard which will be updated daily. 

The Student Experience Survey is open now until midnight 31 October 2021.