Academic & Student Affairs

The First Year Experience Survey

In 2007, the University introduced its First Year Experience Survey. The Survey is conducted online, normally in February or March, and has a response rate of around 30% which represents more than 1000 students replying each year. The results are analysed by the Centre for Educational Development and a report on them is considered by senior management committees where they inform the development of new policies and the monitoring of existing ones. The results are also sent to Schools and areas of academic-support which provide key student services. Note that student anonymity is preserved at all times and no reports or analyses of results contain reference to individual students or allow individual students to be identified.

In its early years, 2007 to 2009, the Survey was intended to generate feedback from students which would help the University understand how students coped with the transition to university, the different pressures on them and the issues of most importance to them. Useful insights were gained into, for example, how well the University's induction prepared students, how the study/paid employment/life balance varied between subject areas, and the effectiveness of the newly introduced system of Personal Tutors.

In 2009-10, the University reviewed the questionnaire used in the Survey. The thinking was that it had built up a body of knowledge about first year transition and should now focus on the key issues covered by the National Student Survey. It was also important that the questionnaire generated results that could be easily understood by users so that they were truly effective in shaping policy and improving the quality of academic provision and services. As always, the objective is to listen to what students are saying and to respond to this. 

You can download the questionnaire by clicking on this link.

If you would like more information please contact Pat McNally, Careers, Employability and Skills,