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Student Experience Survey

The SES is the only comprehensive survey of current higher education students in Australia. It focuses on aspects of the student experience that are measurable, linked with learning and development outcomes, and potentially able to be influenced by higher education institutions. Information collected in the SES helps higher education institutions and the government improve teaching and learning outcomes for students.

   Target population
Undergraduate and postgraduate coursework students enrolled in Australian higher education institutions
    Sample size
Over 180,000 undergraduate students and 90,000 postgraduate coursework students
   Survey cycle
Conducted annually in August and September

2020 SES Results Summary

The higher education sector, like many others, has been subject to substantial challenges arising from the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020. Higher education institutions have been required to quickly to adapt their teaching and learning arrangements in response to government mandated restrictions to address the pandemic. Student ratings of the quality of their entire educational experience among undergraduates fell sharply from 78 per cent in 2019 to 69 per cent in 2020, a fall of 9 percentage points. There were also substantial falls in student positive ratings for some other aspects of learning. For further details, see the 2020 SES National Report and data visualisation above.

Download the latest reports

SES
Reports
2020
.pdf 4.65 MB
SES
Reports
2020
.pdf 4.65 MB
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Reports
2020
.docx 211 KB
SES
Reports
2020
.docx 211 KB
SES
Reports
2020
.xlsx 2.95 MB
SES
Reports
2020
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Reports
2020
.ods 2.87 MB
SES
Reports
2020
.ods 2.87 MB
SES
Reports
2020
.pdf 6.26 MB
SES
Reports
2020
.pdf 6.26 MB

About the SES

The SES is the only comprehensive survey of current higher education students in Australia. It focuses on aspects of the student experience that are measurable, linked with learning and development outcomes, and potentially able to be influenced by higher education institutions. The survey collects information that helps both higher education institutions and the government improve teaching and learning outcomes. The SES has been administered annually since 2012.

Commencing and later year undergraduate and postgraduate coursework students enrolled in Australian higher education institutions are in scope for the SES, including both domestic and onshore international students. 

Information on the ComparED website about student learning experiences is sourced from the SES, including responses from both domestic and onshore international students, at undergraduate and postgraduate coursework level. Survey results from the two most recent collection years are pooled to improve the reliability of the information. The six indicators from the SES displayed on the ComparED website each show the percentage of students providing positive feedback on various aspects of their higher education experience, including:

  1. Quality of entire educational experience
  2. Teaching quality
  3. Learner engagement
  4. Learning resources
  5. Student support
  6. Skills development

The questions which comprise each indicator are detailed below. 90 per cent confidence intervals are displayed to provide a measure of accuracy of the estimates. For technical details about the calculations used to score data derived from the SES, please see the document, SES Methodology for ComparED Website.

Overall quality of educational experience

The percentage of students who rated the overall quality of their educational experience positively, based on an individual question in the SES.

Teaching quality

The percentage of students who rated the quality of teaching they have experienced positively.

Learner engagement

The percentage of students who rated learner engagement at their institution positively.

Learning resources

The percentage of students who rated the learning resources provided by their institution positively.

Student support

The percentage of students who rated the support they received at their institution positively.

Skills development

The percentage of students who rated the skills development they experienced through their studies positively.