Findings from the AUSSE

What is the AUSSE?

The Australasian Survey of Student Engagement (AUSSE) is an annual survey of students and staff enrolled in Australian and New Zealand universities and other higher education and tertiary education institutions. The AUSSE incorporates the Student Engagement Questionnaire (SEQ), a survey of undergraduate and tertiary students, the Postgraduate Survey of Student Engagement (POSSE), a survey of postgraduate coursework students and the Staff Student Engagement Survey (SSES), a survey of academic staff. 

Over the past six years the AUSSE has been administered at over 60 institutions across Australasia. Over 200,000 undergraduate students, postgraduate coursework students and academic staff have completed the AUSSE, POSSE or SSES surveys since 2007 making the AUSSE one of the largest surveys of higher and tertiary education students and staff. 

The idea of student engagement captures how students interact with their institutions, and how institutions can support student learning. Both of these things are important for high-quality education. Your institution can use AUSSE data to improve students' experience and outcomes. The AUSSE provides your institution with information on important things like:

  • students' experiences and activities
  • the interactions students have with staff and other students
  • students' future study intentions
  • students' perceptions of the values and quality of their institution
  • student demographics

The AUSSE is managed by the Australian Council for Educational Research (ACER), an independent and not-for-profit organisation, and is conducted in close collaboration with participating institutions.

Findings from the 2012 AUSSE

The AUSSE provides information on students' involvement with learning, their experiences and activities. Australian students spend an average of 11 hours preparing for class and studying every week, with 15% of students spending more than 20 hours each week on study.  In a typical week, Australasian students complete an average of three assignments that take less than an hour each to complete and 86% of students complete at least one assignment that takes more than an hour to complete. 

73% of students say that they keep up-to-date in their studies most of the time, and only 8% of students say they 'never' complete readings or assignments for class. 

Study is not the only part of students' lives keeping them busy, most students work, and many students are involved in extracurricular activities and spend time caring for their family. 67% of Australasian students work for pay, and working students work an average of two hours each week on-campus and 17 hours each week off-campus. On average, each week students spend 14 hours on campus, five hours travelling to-and-from campus, four hours participating in extracurricular activities, eight hours caring for dependents, nine hours managing personal business (such as housework, shopping and exercising) and 11 hours relaxing and socialising. 

Students are also involved in a number of enriching activities, such as internships, work experience, volunteering, involvement in study groups, studying foreign languages and study exchange schemes (see graph below).