University of Glasgow Student Experience Surveys Policy


The purpose of this policy is to set out the guidelines regarding student experience surveying in the University.

Student Surveys are a vital method of collecting and assessing feedback in order to effect positive change. When used correctly, they can be a crucial way of providing information that can improve the Student Experience. This policy establishes a coordinated approach for student experience surveying at the University of Glasgow. The results are also shared for strategic planning purposes.

The policy aims to:

  • Assure, where feasible, the quality and content of student experience surveys
  • Ensure that results are shared in a timely fashion, where appropriate
  • Disseminate results through the appropriate staff around the University
  • Reduce survey fatigue and protect crucial surveys by controlling student surveys around the University.

Policy Scope

This policy covers: All institution-led student experience surveys of University of Glasgow students.

This policy does not cover:

  • Surveys of University of Glasgow staff or student applicants/decliners.
  • Course evaluation (Evasys) surveys which are subject to the Course Evaluation Policy.
  • Student consultation for Periodic Subject Reviews.
  • Surveys required as part of accreditation requirement (institutional or subject specific).
  • Surveys undertaken outwith the Student Experience, for example academic/dissertation research purposes, which are subject to the requirements of the University Ethics Committee.
  • SRC-run Surveys are outwith the scope of the approval process detailed below, however prior written authorisation from the SRC President and Permanent Secretary is always required.

Student Experience Surveys

Currently the University of Glasgow undertakes a range of university wide surveys to provide students with an opportunity to have their say about the student experience at the University. The survey cohort and content of these surveys are regularly reviewed. The current student survey details are held on the Planning, Insight & Analytics website.

Planning, Insight & Analytics are the Senior Management Group (SMG) designated owners of the following student surveys:

  • Welcome Survey
  • Student Life Survey
  • National Student Survey (NSS)
  • Postgraduate Taught Experience Survey (PTES)

Research and Innovation Service are the SMG designated owners of the following student survey:

  • Postgraduate Research Experience Survey (PRES)

The surveys listed above are the ‘University-supported’ surveys referred to in this policy.

Data usage

Summaries of each survey will be provided to SMG, and subsequently disseminated to Heads of School/RI, Heads of Services, College Directors of Professional Services, Deans of Learning and Teaching, Heads of School/RI Admin and the SRC President. SMG will determine what the institutional response to individual surveys will be, including whether or not systematic action planning is required to address issues identified in the survey. SMG will also identify who is responsible for leading and implementing the action planning process and which individual or committee within the University will take oversight of the process and will be responsible for evaluating and reporting on its outcomes.

Where appropriate, results will be embedded into a Student Experience Business Intelligence model, to enable self-service data provision. All data and subsequent analysis must be handled and published ensuring GDPR principles are met.

Approval of new student experience surveys and surveys that are not ‘University-supported’

To ensure survey fatigue is avoided, all other surveys need to be approved according to the policy below.

The University recognises the importance of surveying its students for institutional and research purposes. However, the University needs to control the number of times students are asked to participate in surveys each year to ensure survey fatigue is minimised. In order to achieve this, formal approval is required before the University’s students are invited to participate in any survey that is not a 'University-supported' project (see list above). Formal approval should be sought prior to the project being initiated and prior to any application for external funding.

This requirement applies to:

  • Proposed student experience surveys from internal sources
  • Proposed student experiences surveys from external organisations

Approval must be sought from:

  • the Head of College, for surveys that will only involve students from within one College
  • the Clerk of Senate, for surveys that will involve a broader cross-section of the student population. The Clerk of Senate will make the decision on whether or not to grant permission in consultation with the President of the Students’ Representative Council
  • the Clerk of Senate, for surveys of any group of students requested by an external organisation. The Clerk of Senate will make the decision on whether or not to grant permission in consultation with the President of the Students’ Representative Council
  • In all cases where a survey has been accepted for approval, the Deputy Director, Planning, Insight & Analytics must also be consulted to ensure the protection of strategic surveys.

If you are in any doubt as to whether permission is required, contact the Clerk of Senate BEFORE proceeding with funding/project proposals.

Consent to conduct a survey under this policy does not imply ethical, funding or other approval.

'University-supported' projects, are listed above and on the Planning, Insight & Analytics website. If there is any doubt whether a project is 'University-Supported', the matter should be referred to the Clerk of Senate for decision.

Preferred Survey Tool for non-research purposes

The University of Glasgow holds a site license for Online Surveys (OS), a simple to use and extremely effective survey tool. Survey Monkey is not recommended due to security, cost and continuity issues. If you need an account on OS to carry out non-research activity, please contact for access. It is also possible to use the EvaSys survey tool to carry out surveys.

If you require an account for carrying out fieldwork/research, please contact