We’re Listening, We’re Learning: National Student Survey will Enhance the Trinity Student Experience

Posted on: 14 February 2014

The Irish Survey of Student Engagement (ISSE), a national survey of third- level students designed to hear about their full experience of higher education, is now under way, following a successful pilot phase last year. Students’ responses to the survey will provide institutions with valuable information that they can use to identify effective practice and provision.  And the student response is further expected to prompt action on any particular issues or challenges that affect students.

All first year, final year undergraduate and taught postgraduate students in Trinity College Dublin are invited to participate in the survey from 17 February to 7 March 2014. Students from these year groups will receive individual email invitations.

Dr Amanda Piesse, former Dean of Students and School of English, Leanna Byrne, Communications Officer, TCDSU and Trish Callaghan, Academic Secretary at the launch of the Irish Student Engagement Survey

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 on engagement and satisfaction will contribute to students experiencing an education that is relevant and responsive to their personal development and growth as fully engaged citizens within society. Commenting on the importance of the survey, Professor Kevin O’ Kelly, Dean of Students, said: “The Irish Survey of Student Engagement provides a rich source of data concerning students’ experience of higher education. The national scale of the survey is significant and has real impact in the strength of students’ voices that are central to it. Their feedback is important to us. It is an invaluable resource in the ongoing process of improving and enhancing the student experience.”

ISSE’s objectives include increased transparency in relation to the student experience in higher education institutions,  enabling direct student input on levels of engagement and satisfaction with their higher education institution, the identification of good practice that enhances the student experience, and  insight into student opinion on important issues of higher education policy and practice.

This fully national survey is the first system-wide survey of its kind in Europe.  Thirty institutions will participate including all Universities, all Institutes of Technology and all Colleges of Education, helping to make the survey representative of the overall student voice.

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. This national survey is one example of institutions and national bodies working together to gather students’ views.

The survey, which takes about 15 minutes to complete,  is co-sponsored by the Higher Education Authority institutions’ representative bodies (Institutes of Technology Ireland and the Irish Universities Association) and the Union of Students in Ireland. It is being administered by an independent survey contractor, i-graduate.