13 November 2014 | EQAF Paper

Implementation of the first national student engagement survey through partnership and collaboration

Sean O’Reilly, Kevin Donoghue, Muiris O’Connor, Jim Murray, Vivienne Patterson, Lewis Purser


A unique collaborative partnership of higher education institutions, students’ representatives and national agencies has implemented the first national survey of student engagement in Ireland, the Irish Survey of Student Engagement (ISSE). The partnership has achieved greater progress than would have been possible by any one group of stakeholders. The national survey, focussing on engagement of students with their higher education experience, has generated a new, valuable and rich data set to inform enhancement activities within institutions as well as informing national dialogue and policy.

ISSE is based on similar surveys used in the US (since 2000) and Australasia (since 2007) and an increasing number of other countries worldwide. As such, it provides a national and international context for analysis of institutional data.
This paper outlines the rationale for development of the ISSE, explains the approach taken to implement and increasingly embed the survey into the academic cycle, and highlights a number of issues that remain under active discussion.


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


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