The Office of Strategy and Engagement (OSE) administers a number of national and institutional based surveys targeted to students, staff, employers and the community. The results are used to both prove and improve quality learning, teaching and its support of UWS. The survey team is managed by the Survey Manager, Belinda de Jong

To view details for a particular survey browse the options below.

Learning and Teaching

Student Satisfaction Survey

The UWS Student Satisfaction (SS) Survey gathers feedback from students on their experience at the University. It covers student perceptions of teaching, learning, student administration, student services, the Library, IT services, learning sources, facilities and food. There are a total of 86 items which are ranked on both importance and performance.

The survey, which is conducted every two years, targets a representative sample of approximately 8000 undergraduate and postgraduate (coursework) students.

The survey was conducted at UWS for the first time in October 2004, replacing the earlier Through Students Eyes and First Year Experience Surveys. Results of the SSS have been analysed by organisational units with responsibilities in the main service provision areas covered by the survey, leading to the targeting of development and improvement strategies.

Surveys, results and actions taken:

Australian Graduate Survey

The Australian Graduate Survey (AGS) is a national survey which includes the Course Experience Questionnaire (CEQ) and Graduate Destination Survey (GDS). The AGS is administered by Graduate Careers Australia (opens in a new window) (GCA).

The CEQ measures student satisfaction of their course experience at the university and the GDS consists of questions about graduates' work or further study and salary.

All graduating student are highly recommended to participate in AGS. The findings of the survey will help the University improve on areas where improvement is needed. The survey data is also used by students and their advisers for career and study choices; by higher education institutions for future planning; and by employers when developing recruitment policies and programs. Results of these previous surveys, as well as information concerning graduate employment and starting salaries, are available on the GCA website (opens in a new window).

All Australian higher education institutions participate in this survey on annual basis. The survey targets all students who have completed an undergraduate or postgraduate course work degree. Institutions use three core and up to three optional scales.

Download a copy of the Australian Graduate Survey 2013 (AGS) (PDF, 204.94 KB) (opens in a new window). 

Student Feedback on Units Survey

The UWS Student Feedback on Units (SFU) Survey gathers feedback from students on the individual units of study in which they are enrolled each semester. The SFU Survey comprises 13 items relating to unit quality including content and relevance, assessment, learning environment, learning experience and outcomes, and workload. As well as ranking each item, students are invited to comment on 'best aspects' and 'needs improvement' in the unit.

At UWS, SFU Survey reports are available in August for semester 1 and in January for semester 2. The University provides three sets of reports.

  1. UWS Summary report - this report provides a summary of the results at the School level for each SFU Survey item for the first and second half of the respective year. The report also includes an analysis for the year of the 'best aspects' and 'needs improvement' comments for UWS.
  2. School Traffic Light report - this report presents the results for each unit in the School that has been surveyed covering; surveys issued, surveys returned, unit response rate and the mean score for each item which are colour coded to more easily show the performance of each unit in the respective school during the survey period. Trend data has also been provided at the School level for the last three years along with an analysis of the 'best aspects' and 'needs improvement' comments for the school.
  3. Individual unit report - contains the results for each unit by item compared with the overall UWS mean score, the School mean score along with trend data for the unit for the last few years. The report also shows the number of surveys returned and the response rate for the unit. At the end of each report all the 'best aspects' and 'needs improvement comments' are listed.

The UWS report for the year 2013 can be found below. This report includes the survey questions:

For further information about the SFU survey, please refer to the SFU FAQs or contact the Survey Team at or contact Trish Davies, Quality and Evaluation Administration Officer.

Student Feedback on Teaching Survey

The purpose of the Student Feedback on Teaching (SFT) Survey is primarily to assist individual teaching staff with reflecting on their own teaching and targeting areas for development and improvement. The survey continues to represent a key source of information in teaching evaluation processes, which are amongst the obligations of academic staff mandated in the UWS Enterprise Agreement and comprising an essential element in their own performance and career development.

The survey comprises 31 items grouped into nine dimensions of teaching with two open ended questions and a teaching staff member self-evaluation survey. The report provides a mean score for each item, with comparisons against overall UWS, school and individual teacher self rating. The report also provides a list of comments made by students grouped into 'best aspects' and 'needs improvement'.

At UWS, SFT survey results are confidential and only made available to the relevant teaching staff member at the end of the semester via email.

To order your SFT survey forms, complete the online request form (opens in a new window).

For further information about the SFT survey, please contact the Survey Team at or contact Trish Davies, Quality and Evaluation Administration Officer.

Commencing Student Survey

The Commencing Student (CS) Survey was introduced at UWS in March 2010. This survey focuses on the empirically verified factors known to contribute to successful first year transition and retention. The CS Survey seeks to proactively manage student expectations and to highlight key focus areas.

The survey and results are available from Stephen Butcher, Senior Manager, Information and Analysis.

SFU Information for Unit Coordinators

The Office of Strategy and Engagement have moved the administration of the Student Feedback on Units (SFU) survey online. This strategy brings us into line with practices across the sector and has many benefits including a more flexible way for students to provide feedback and opportunities for Unit Coordinators to track their students' response rates. There will also be improvements in the level of detail Unit Coordinators can include in their reports and analysis of students' feedback.

Based on feedback received from staff and students to streamline the operations of the SFU it has been decided to fix the dates that the survey will open and close. For the second half of 2014, the survey opening and closing dates by semester are

  • Quarter 3: Opens 18 August and closes 15 September
  • Term 2:     Opens 1 September and closes 6 October
  • Spring:      Opens 7 October and closes 10 November
  • 2nd Half:   Opens 7 October and closes 10 November
  • Quarter 4: Opens 7 November and closes 8 December

For each teaching period you are enrolled in, you will be sent an email advising that you have SFU's to complete.

To assist you in managing your responses, a Response Rate Dashboard has been set up. See the below Frequently Asked Questions for more detail on how to use this.

Frequently asked questions

How students access the SFU survey

Emails are send to students from the Survey Team directly providing them with a link to the survey. They are also advised to access their vUWS account as an alternative way to complete their SFU surveys. Students receive an initial email and 2 reminder emails. The dates of these emails are contained in the initial email sent to unit coordinators.

How to encourage students to complete the SFU survey

The pilot SFU survey revealed that if students were reminded by the Unit Coordinator who has access to the response rate, they would complete the survey. Showing students that you are monitoring the response rate and want to receive their feedback has a positive impact on response rates.

Along with reminding your students about the SFU, we suggest you try the following to encourage students to complete the survey:

  • Allocate time in class: As the majority of first and second year students will have an iPad, we recommend that Unit Coordinators set aside time in a lecture or tutorial for students to complete the survey online (as you have done previously with the paper based form). Please inform students that they can complete the survey on any smart device, for example their mobile phones or tablets. Students can access their SFU surveys through vUWS or by clicking on the link contained in one of the emails send by the Survey Team.
  • vUWS: You may want to put up a message on your unit's vUWS site requesting students complete the SFU survey if they have not yet completed it. Remember you have access to the current response rate via the response rate dashboard so you can always include this in your message. 
  • Distribute flyers: Flyers promoting the SFU survey are available and you can request them by emailing the survey team or phoning x7007 or x7454. The flyers can be handed out at the time you administer the Student Feedback on Teaching (SFT) survey (if you are participating in the SFT process). This way students will have something to physically take away with them and may prompt them when they get home.

In addition communication to students will be made via Facebook, MyUWS, Twitter, reminder emails, vUWS home page and a UWS web page for Students on the SFU.

What is the Response Rate Dashboard?

As students provide their online feedback about units, Unit Coordinators will be able to monitor response rates live and download results in the Response Rate Dashboard. The system will only allow for one person to be assigned authority over the unit. If there are two Unit Coordinators assigned to one unit a decision needs to be made over who will have access to the Response Rate Dashboard.

Details including your login username and password will be sent to all Unit Coordinators by the Office of Strategy and Engagement Survey team when each survey is opened. If you do not have your login details or have lost the email please contact the survey team at for assistance.

Accessing the Response Rate Dashboard

When first accessing the Response Rate Dashboard using your username and password, you will be given four options:

  • Exit – will exit you out of the system.
  • Response Rate – will allow you to view live response rates of the unit/s you are coordinating.
  • Change the Dates – Is used to manage the dates that students will receive emails (you may have used this feature to change the students email dates).
  • Change Pwd – used to change your password.

How to use the Response Rate Dashboard

The 'Response Rate' section of the Response Rate Dashboard allows you to view live response rates of the unit/s you are coordinating. The dashboard will show you the results for the current session as well as the results of any past sessions in which you have coordinated units (e.g. it can show you the response rate from Q3 and Q4).

Response Rate Dashboard

You are able to filter the results by year, teaching calendar, unit code or unit name. To filter the results by teaching calendar:

  • Select 'teaching calendar' in the first drop down box
  • Leave the second drop down box as 'equal to'
  • Select the teaching calendar that you want from the third drop down box 'i.e. TCH-AUTUM'
  • Select 'apply' from the last drop down box.

The 3 items of data you see in the table are:

  • Non Response (red) indicates the number of students who have not yet completed the survey
  • Complete (green) indicates the number of students who have responded
  • In Progress (yellow) indicates the number of students who are currently or partially completed the survey.

If you want to download this data into excel you can click on the 'Download Results Here' button. This will download an excel version of the table shown on screen.

Differences between Student Feedback on Unit (SFU) and Student Feedback on Teaching (SFT) surveys

The SFU survey is an online survey which gives students a chance to provide feedback on unit content, and design, learning guides, teaching methods, assessment process and teaching materials. A link to the survey is emailed to the student directly.

The Student Feedback on Teaching (SFT) survey is an optional paper based survey which gives students a chance to evaluate the teaching of their tutor or lecturer. If a teacher wants to participate in the SFT surveys, they are required to complete an order using the online ordering system (staff login required). The paper surveys are then returned to the survey office for processing. Only the teacher requesting the feedback will be sent the confidential report and each teacher must order the forms for themselves due to the confidential nature of the survey.

The Survey team are looking at reviewing the SFT survey and moving it online.

If you have any questions or feedback about the online SFU survey use the feedback button on this page or contact the surveys team on


Postgraduate Research Experience Questionnaire

The Postgraduate Research Experience Questionnaire (PREQ) is a national survey administered by Graduate Careers Australia (GCA) (opens in a new window). All Australian higher education institutions participate in this survey on an annual basis. The survey targets all graduating students who have completed research degrees.

The current PREQ survey consists of 28 items and is made up of the following:

  1. Supervision
  2. Intellectual climate
  3. Skills development
  4. Infrastructure
  5. Thesis examination process
  6. Clarity of goals and expectation
  7. Overall satisfaction

Download a copy of the Australian Graduate Survey 2013 PREQ (PDF, 244.14 KB) (opens in a new window).

Research Student Satisfaction Survey

The UWS Research Student Satisfaction (RSS) Survey targets all currently enrolled research students and taps research students' perceptions of their total student experience of the university. Areas investigated include the quality of research supervision, outcomes, administration and access to various student services. The survey items are ranked on both importance and performance.

The survey is conducted every two years. The results from the 2013 survey can be accessed below

Research Student Satisfaction 2013 Final survey results (PDF, 432Kb) (opens in a new window) (staff login required)

Research Student Satisfaction 2013 Results by school (PDF, 158 Kb) (opens in a new window) (staff login required)

For further information please contact Stephen Butcher, Senior Manager, Information and Analysis.