Survey Governance and Approval Process
Surveys are a valuable tool for students to provide feedback on their educational experience, for conducting research and for the University to collect information for quality assurance and strategic management purposes.
The UNSW Student Survey Governance Framework ensures student surveys:
- are consistently of a high standard
- do not duplicate or overlap with other surveys
- do not over-survey students
- adhere to right to information and ethical standards
- are disseminated and utilised appropriately.
The framework aims to promote a clear and transparent methodology for the governance of student surveys by minimising the risk of over-surveying current students. The framework below outlines the application process for scheduling student surveys and is managed and coordinated across the institution by the Survey Reference Group (SRG).
The Student Survey Framework applies to all student surveys that target the whole UNSW student population; a student population within a school or faculty; or a random sample of the whole cohort.
Surveys in scope of the framework
The Student Survey Framework is applicable to any survey that has currently enrolled students as participants and requires a student contact list for the surveys to be distributed. In general, these surveys can be categorised as:
- Internal quality assurance surveys (e.g. quality assurance, learning and teaching, or other aspects of the student experience)
- Institutional or external surveys commissioned by Government departments or agencies, or other external individuals or organisations
- Internal market research surveys
- Internal surveys of student attitudes and opinions (e.g. climate surveys).
This may include a survey of all postgraduate students, international students or first year students. It could also include surveys of students a school or a sample of students from several faculties concerning one or more specific issues.
Those responsible for initiating University surveys must seek advice from the Human Resources Ethics Committee to determine if ethics approval is required.
Surveys outside the scope of this framework
The following types of surveys are normally outside the scope of this framework:
- surveys requiring Human Research Ethics approval, except in cases where:
- the surveys are expected to overlap with scheduled approved surveys
- the surveyed activities span a significant proportion of the student population
- surveys conducted as part of laboratory studies, classroom activities and student assessments are exempt from the approval process
- surveys conducted by individual academic staff with students enrolled in their courses as part of learning and teaching quality assurance processes;
- surveys of prospective students, graduates or alumni (students with no zID)
- surveys conducted on social media sites
- surveys for students that are also staff, where surveys are distributed in their capacity as staff
Although surveys conducted via social media sites such as Facebook and Twitter are not covered under the Survey Framework, surveys are to be conducted in a professional manner, be non-trivial and are not to reflect adversely on the University.
Surveys exempt from approval
Exempt surveys are pre-approved and will have a period of the academic calendar blocked off and pre-assigned.
The internal student experience survey myExperience is exempt from the approvals process.
Institutional surveys, conducted to satisfy compliance and national benchmarking needs are also exempt from the approvals process. The Quality Indicators for Learning and Teaching (QILT) is a suite of national, higher education surveys endorsed by Department of Education and Training that covers the student life cycle from commencement to employment.
The QILT survey suite is exempt from approvals and consists of:
- Student Experience Survey (SES)
- Graduate Outcomes Survey (GOS) / Course Experience Questionnaire (CEQ)
- Graduate Outcomes - Longitudinal (GOS - L)
- Employer Satisfaction Survey (ESS)
Survey approval process
Compliance with other University policies and guidelines
All surveys must comply with relevant University policies and guidelines including, but not limited to:
It is the responsibility of survey applicants to ensure that they adhere to relevant University policies.