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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 80,000 postgraduate coursework students
   Survey cycle
Conducted annually in August and September

2021 SES Results Summary

 

The higher education sector faced substantial challenges arising from the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020 and 2021. There was a sharp reduction in student ratings of their educational experience in 2020. Student ratings have improved in 2021, as institutions and students have adapted to the changing teaching and learning environment. For example, undergraduate student ratings of the quality of the entire educational experience increased four percentage points from 69 per cent in 2020 to 73 per cent in 2021. This is not, however, a full recovery to the 78 per cent to 80 per cent range observed since the survey was first conducted on a national basis up to 2019. For further details, see the 2021 SES National Report and data visualisation above.

More detailed results for international students, including information about students’ education and living experiences in Australia, can be found in the 2021 SES International Report.

 

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Reports
2021
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SES
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2021
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2021
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2021
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Reports
2021
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SES
Reports
2021
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SES
Reports
2021
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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.