21 November 2022 | EQAF Paper

Listening to voices that matter: The necessity of national surveys of student engagement for governance and quality assurance of higher education

Siobhán Nic Fhlannchadha (StudentSurvey.ie (Irish Survey of Student Engagement))

Enhancing effectiveness of quality assurance for the future of HEIs cannot happen without the inclusion of the multiple perspectives of the most important player in the process – the students.

This paper presents data from the Irish Survey of Student Engagement from 2016 to 2021, based on the responses of 232,450 first and final year undergraduate and taught postgraduate students. The focus is on students’ social experience and development. It also includes aggregated national results addressing the impact of COVID-19 in 2021, at the height of the pandemic in Ireland. These two sources of quantitative and qualitative data demonstrate the significant negative impact of COVID-19 on students’ social development and experience. The results of StudentSurvey.ie demonstrate the value of student feedback in shaping, safeguarding and promoting shared values, and the need for student participation, including through quality assurance mechanisms such as national surveys, in governance and quality assurance of higher education.

This paper was presented at EQAF and reflects the views of the named authors only.

ISSN: 1375-3797

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