Student surveys – new guidance and approval process

May 16th, 2023

The university has introduced a new approval process for administering student surveys, alongside publication of a SharePoint site offering best practice guidance for managing and communicating surveys and other forms of student feedback.

Following a recent audit of university surveys, a task-and-finish group was commissioned by the Education and Student Experience Committee to develop a set of recommendations for a new policy approach to student surveys aimed at undergraduate and postgraduate taught students. 

The audit revealed that at least 95 student surveys were conducted across the university in a single academic year – many of which took place concurrently. This is exacerbating a widespread challenge around engaging students with institutionally strategic surveys as well as compromising efforts to work smartly and effectively in partnership with students and our approach to the student voice. It also undermines trust and engagement with our student communications channels and feedback mechanisms. 

Many other universities have developed stringent policies on the use and administration of student surveys, and our guidance is aligned to these approaches. 

Under the new guidance, colleagues wishing to run a survey during the 2023/24 academic year where the survey is targeted at 250 UG or PGT students or more will need to acquire approval from the Education and Student Experience Committee. 

If you are planning to run a survey that fits the above criteria, please complete the form below no later than Friday 30 June. Any proposals received after this date will not be considered. 

Tell us about your survey 

Before submitting your survey for approval, please consult the Review Framework for Student Surveys for 2023-24 – even if your survey has operated in previous years. This will support your planning and help you to understand what criteria the Education and Student Experience Committee is looking for in the surveys it is approving. 

Details of the approach and guidance for surveys of various sizes can be found on our new SharePoint site below. Anyone looking to gather feedback from students is advised to refer to this guidance before doing so. 

Student Voice and Surveys SharePoint site 

The site also includes best practice guidance on how to get the most out of your survey, and how best to communicate it with UG and PGT students to ensure a high rate of engagement. It features communications templates and legal guidance on administering incentives, as well as advice on alternative feedback methods such as focus groups. 

Operational and departmental leads are asked to consider how best to signpost to this guidance in resources, training and guidance for their staff. 

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