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Student Survey Policy

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Section 1 - Purpose

(1) The purpose of this Policy is to:

  1. articulate the scope and rationale associated with the surveying of Macquarie University students;
  2. define the responsibilities of stakeholders involved in the administration, management, implementation and reporting of student surveys;
  3. guide an evidence-based approach to the implementation of student surveys, and
  4. provide guidance on the implementation of monitoring requirements as specified in the Higher Education Standards Framework (Threshold Standards) 2021.

Scope

(2) This Policy applies to all staff and students at all campuses and locations of the University unless excluded in clause (5).

(3) This Policy applies to all Macquarie University surveys that collect feedback from students for the purpose of quality assurance, enhancement, and improvement regarding their experience of learning and teaching, curriculum, research supervision, facilities and infrastructure, administration and support services, co-curricular activities, and events.

(4) These surveys are categorised as Core and Non-core Surveys as specified in the Definitions. Core Surveys are:

  1. Institutional Learning and Teaching Surveys conducted by the University;
  2. Other Institutional Surveys conducted by the University; and
  3. National Surveys which are endorsed or required by Government departments and/or other external organisations.

(5) This Policy does not apply to surveys that are conducted for the purpose of immediate quality improvement or feedback e.g., class-based polls/surveys, or surveys undertaken on ELICOS programs.

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Section 2 - Policy

(6) Acquiring students’ perspectives and feedback is integral to the success of the University’s ‘students first’ strategic objective and to providing a positive experience for students at the University.

(7) Student feedback, which can be collected in a variety of ways including through surveys, is essential for informing quality assurance, enhancement, and improvement purposes, for benchmarking and monitoring purposes, and to inform operational and strategic decisions in all areas that impact the student experience.

(8) The University, as required by the Higher Education Standards Framework (Threshold Standards) 2021, will meet its obligations to provide students with opportunities to provide feedback on their educational experiences.

(9) The University will manage surveys in a consistent, confidential, transparent, and ethical manner for staff and students in accordance with the Student Survey Procedure.

(10) Student surveys will be administered in accordance with the Survey Calendar and Survey Schedule. The Calendar will be updated and published prior to the commencement of each calendar year by the Office of the Pro Vice-Chancellor (Learning and Teaching) and will cover the full calendar year.

(11) Surveys must be delivered through an approved institutional survey system.

(12) Activities to maximise student participation in surveys will be undertaken in line with the responsibilities set  out under Responsibilities (clauses 28-34).

(13) Students will be given the opportunity to complete surveys during scheduled class time (on campus or online) where applicable.

(14) Survey findings from all core surveys will be responded to appropriately and in line with the responsibilities set out under Responsibilities (clauses 28-34).

(15) An account of changes made in response to the feedback will be provided to relevant stakeholders in line with the responsibilities set out under Responsibilities (clauses 28-34).

(16) Staff who wish to conduct a non-core survey must obtain approval and follow the process outlined in the Student Survey Procedure.

(17) The scheduling of non-core Surveys is coordinated through the Office of Pro Vice-Chancellor (Learning and Teaching).

(18) The Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Academic) is the Executive Sponsor, and the Pro Vice-Chancellor (Learning and Teaching) is the Custodian of the data collected in Core student surveys.

(19) National survey reports and some institutional survey reports are available and published on the Business Intelligence and Reporting website.

(20) Other institutional survey reports are available and published on secured University portals.

(21) Researchers wishing to use survey data for research purposes must apply for approval to access this data from the Pro Vice-Chancellor (Learning and Teaching).

(22) Researchers wishing to use survey data for research purposes will require Human Research Ethics Committee approval in accordance with the Human Research Ethics Policy.

Privacy Management

(23) The University is committed to protecting the privacy of its students, employees and others who interact with it while undertaking its learning and teaching, research, engagement, and associated administrative activities and support services.

(24) The University is required to comply with the NSW Privacy and Personal Information Protection Act 1998 (PPIPA) and Health Records and Information Privacy Act 2002 (HRIPA) in respect of personal and health information which it collects and uses. The University aligns its practices and activities with the Information Protection Principles (IPPs), and the Health Privacy Principles (HPPs) contained in those Acts.

(25) The University’s Privacy Management Plan provides more information on how the University implements its obligations under the PPIPA and HRIPA, and how these Acts apply to the University’s operations.

(26) Non-identifiable (or aggregated) data may be used by the University for evaluation and reporting purposes. Any personal information provided as a result of completion of surveys (e.g., name, student number) will remain confidential to the University in accordance with the Privacy Policy.

(27) Identifiable individual respondent-level survey data will only be accessible to staff directly involved in data processing and analysis.

Responsibilities

Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Academic) Portfolio

(28) The Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Academic) is the Executive sponsor for the management of all student surveys which are managed within the Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Academic) Portfolio.

Office of the Pro Vice-Chancellor (Learning and Teaching)

(29) The Office of the Pro Vice-Chancellor (Learning and Teaching):

  1. is the Custodian of the data collected in Core student surveys;
  2. is responsible for developing centralised systems and processes for the effective administration of Institutional Learning and Teaching surveys to target groups;
  3. has overall oversight of Institutional Learning and Teaching and Non-core Surveys including the implementation of surveys, survey schedules, surveying systems, and the governance of survey result data;
  4. ensures that surveys are administered to enhance the student experience and outcomes; and
  5. provides information and resources to staff on methods to maximise survey engagement.

Business Intelligence and Reporting

(30) Business Intelligence and Reporting will:

  1. manage all National and some of the Other Institutional Surveys, including the implementation of surveys, survey  schedules, surveying systems, and the governance of survey result data;
  2. ensure that survey responses are used for monitoring, quality assurance, improvement and enhancement, external referencing and/or other benchmarking activities; and
  3. be responsible for the storage and management of survey data.

Faculty / School / Office / Department / Discipline Leaders / Managers / Supervisors

(31) Faculties / Schools / Offices / Departments and Discipline Leaders / Managers / Supervisors will:

  1. ensure that this Policy and the associated Student Survey Procedure are implemented;
  2. provide information, guidance, and support to enable the efficient administration of surveys;
  3. implement strategies to maximise student response rates and ensure the quality of survey data;
  4. ensure that processes are in place to implement recommendations and actions arising from survey findings;
  5. ensure that survey findings and subsequent actions are communicated to relevant stakeholders; and
  6. in consultation with teaching staff, identify and support professional development opportunities in response to feedback.

Unit Convenors / Course Directors / Course Leaders

(32) Unit Convenors / Course Directors / Course Leaders will:

  1. ensure that this Policy and the associated Student Survey Procedure are adhered to;
  2. promote and support implementation of relevant surveys with teaching staff;
  3. plan and implement strategies to maximise student engagement with Institutional Learning and Teaching surveys;
  4. analyse and respond to survey results to guide and evaluate improvements and mitigate risks to quality;
  5. use survey data to inform approaches to quality learning and teaching, curriculum, research supervision, facilities and infrastructure, support services, co-curricular activities, and events; and
  6. ensure that the above responsibilities are implemented in line with the Unit of Study Monitoring and Grade Ratification Policy and Course of Study Annual Monitoring and Review Policy.

Teaching staff

(33) Teaching staff will:

  1. implement strategies to maximise student engagement with Institutional Learning and Teaching surveys;
  2. encourage students to provide honest, fair, respectful, and actionable feedback to Institutional Learning and Teaching surveys;
  3. provide class time for students to complete Institutional Learning and Teaching surveys;
  4. review and reflect on survey results to guide and evaluate improvements and mitigate risks to quality; and
  5. engage with professional development opportunities as appropriate in response to survey feedback.

Students

(34) Students will:

  1. respond to surveys within the specified period;
  2. provide honest, fair, respectful, and actionable feedback to inform institutional monitoring, quality assurance, improvement, and enhancement activities; and
  3. comply with the Student Code of Conduct and the Acceptable Use of IT Resources Policy in their responses to student surveys.
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Section 3 - Procedures

(35) Refer to the Student Survey Procedure.

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Section 4 - Guidelines

(36) Nil.

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Section 5 - Definitions

(37) Commonly defined terms are located in the University Glossary. The following definitions apply for the purpose of this Policy:

  1. Core Surveys refers to surveys that are implemented institution-wide and are scheduled on a regular basis in a study period and/or calendar year and are included in the Survey Schedule;
  2. Non-core Surveys refers to those surveys that are not implemented institution-wide and that would not ordinarily take place every study period or year but are delivered for the same purposes as specified in Clause 3 and may include student-led surveys;
  3. Institutional Learning and Teaching Surveys refers to student surveys conducted by the University which are related to the learning and teaching experience of students. These include but are not limited to Learner Experience of the Unit Extended (LEUX), Learner Experience of the Unit Standard (LEUS) and the Learner Experience of Teachers (LET);
  4. Other Institutional Surveys refers to student surveys that are related to the overall experience of students. These include but are not limited to surveys related to Commencement experience, Library services and the experience of HDR candidates;
  5. National Surveys refers to student surveys that are endorsed or required by Government departments and or other authorised external organisations. These include but are not limited to the Student Experience Survey (SES), Graduate Outcomes Survey (GOS) and the International Student Barometer (ISB); and
  6. Student Experience refers to the following activities: learning and teaching experience, curriculum, research supervision, facilities and infrastructure, administration and support services, co-curricular activities, and events.