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The University of Southampton
Quality HandbookStudent engagement

Programme Feedback

Every student will have the opportunity to give their feedback on the different aspects of University life.

The University considers it important to create a culture and an environment that promote student engagement throughout the institution.

Working in partnership with the Students’ Union, the University is responsible for providing opportunities for students to give feedback on their experiences.  

Collecting, analysing and responding to evidence are fundamental features of a research-intensive university, and the University employs professional researchers to conduct and analyse feedback from students at institution-level in order to make improvements to the student experience. There is a commitment to closing feedback loops demonstrated through regular ‘You Said, We Did’ campaigns.

The University listens to the student voice captured at programme through mechanisms such as;

Surveys, focus groups and interviews

The University takes part in a range of surveys including the National Student Survey, the Postgraduate Taught Experience Survey, the Postgraduate Research Experience Survey, the International Student Barometer and a range of ad hoc surveys, focus groups or interviews. 

Student representation through elected Course Representatives, Academic Presidents and School Officers

The University and the University of Southampton Students' Union are committed to providing effective structures for student feedback and representation and to working in partnership to ensure that the Academic Student Representation System (ASRS) functions effectively. The Academic Student Representation Policy and guidance document was written and is maintained by the Students’ Union.

Staff:Student Liaison Committees.

Staff-Student Liaison Committees (SSLC) are a central pillar of the representation system. They will be conducted at School level, or at a level below that of Schools for appropriate groupings of disciplines.

Student Representation in Quality Assurance

Student engagement in Quality Assurance processes is requested through the informal and formal sharing of views on particular elements of the University’s Quality Assurance framework, for example in the programme design process and in the drafting of new policy.

Student representatives also sit on various Committees of Senate, including Academic Quality and Standards Committee, Education Committee, and the Doctoral College Board, as dictated within the Terms of Reference for each Committee



Any primary research to be conducted responsibly and ethically.

The research professionals employed by the University to conduct student research abide by the Market Research Society (MRS)’s code of conduct as do any agencies to which work is outsourced.

The University also has its own ethical approval system, ERGO, which assesses all research using a risk-based approach.

Both the MRS code of conduct and ERGO share the same core principles for research methodology, for example;

Where open-ended comments are collected, these are monitored for inappropriate language or information which might result in an individual being identified before they are disseminated within the University or the Students’ Union

In order to protect the anonymity of respondents and to provide robust data, a minimum reportable response rate/ number of responses is/are set specific to each project, both for analyses of ‘total responses’ and for sub-group.

Any complaints raised through student feedback mechanisms will be referred through the Student Complaints regulations.

Student feedback to be used to enhance the quality of the student experience and to ensure that the management of academic quality takes account of student views.

Student feedback is analysed at a number of levels, including institutional-level, School-level, programme-level, and by demographic factors (such as fee status, widening participation factors etc).

These different analyses are discussed in the relevant fora, for example Education Committee or AQSC for institutional analyses, Faculty Board for School level analyses or School Programmes Committees for programme level analyses. 

Student feedback is routinely used in the formal processes of the University in order to enhance the quality of the student experience. 

School performance agreements, business planning, programme approval and review and annual monitoring processes all require commentary from Schools and Departments on the issues raised in student feedback mechanisms, and any actions taken or proposed.

The University will feed back to students and the Students’ Union about actions taken in response to student feedback.

Student feedback received through surveys or other research should be actively linked to the student representation system, with student representatives given access to the relevant analyses, allowing them to be discussed in fora such as SSLC’s.

There are a number of mechanisms which may be used to directly feed back to students the actions taken as a result of feedback. These include;


Useful Documents

Academic Student Representation Policy



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