About the Course Experience Questionnaire (CEQ) and the Australian Graduate Survey (AGS)

The Institute for Teaching and Learning is responsible for administering and reporting the Australian Graduate Survey (AGS), which incorporates the Course Experience Questionnaire (CEQ). The AGS is an annual survey which is used by Graduate Careers Australia (GCA) to gather information from graduates of all Australian Universities. 

GCA is a peak body with representatives from employers, universities and government which was formed over 30 years ago. As well as the Executive Director and corporate sector Directors, the Board has senior representatives from the following organisations:

GCA analyses and reports results of the AGS (including the CEQ) for all higher education insitutions to DEEWR. The Government uses these data to assess and plan for the needs of the higher education sector.

ADMINISTRATION OF THE AGS

The Australian Graduate Survey is comprised of two components:

  • Graduate Destinations Survey (GDS) - collects information about the activities of graduates after the completion of their degrees regarding their career and/or further study choices.
  • Course Experience Questionnaire (CEQ) - gathers data about graduates perceptions of their higher education experience. The CEQ originated in the early 1980s and there is now over 20 years of research evidence which supports the theoretical and empirical basis of the questionnaire.

In April each year, the AGS is mailed to all graduating students from the previous year (students who complete the requirements of their course at the conclusion of Semester 1 are sent their AGS in October of that year). Data collection is completed in September and the GCA publishes the results in February the following year. This means that the reports of graduating students' experiences are not available until at least a year after they finish their courses.

All undergraduates and postgraduates from coursework programs receive the CEQ as part of the AGS. Graduates who complete a Postgraduate Research degree instead receive the Postgraduate Research Experience Question (PREQ).

REPORTING OF AGS RESULTS

Like most Australian universities, The University of Sydney also analyses and reports on its own CEQ and GDS data for internal purposes. The GCA uses a generic 'field of education' mapping in preparing the national reports (40 categories), however the actual mapping of areas of study to faculties varies between different universities. The Institute for Teaching and Learning analyses and reports the University's GDS and CEQ data using the mapping of ASCED field of study codes to faculties, determined by the University's Planning Support Office. Further details of the mapping process are available here.

CEQ and AGS results provide a wealth of data which can inform curriculum development initiatives. Information on the employment and study destinations of graduates and specific information on graduates' perceptions of their teaching and learning experiences can provide university teachers useful insights into the needs of future students. The Institute for Teaching and Learning works with the university community to support staff in this use of the CEQ and AGS data.

Different faculties use different strategies to support the interpretation of the results. Comparison of CEQ and GDS data across several years, for the same field of study within the University is often helpful. The approach of comparing results with agreed internal benchmarks or standards is also used, for example; "at least 90% of graduates should agree that their lecturers gave them helpful feedback". For these purposes, the percentage of students who (dis)agree or strongly (dis)agree with a statement is often the most useful form of data.

Additional information on the CEQ data reporting conventions is provided in the section "Reading the Report".

If you have any questions about the AGS or CEQ please contact the Institute for Teaching and Learning on 9351 3725. For queries relating to the administration of the survey please contact Brad Ridout, however, if you would like to discuss how your faculty could use the survey results in support of curriculum development initiatives please contact Professor Keith Trigwell.


WINNERS OF THE SURVEY PRIZE DRAW (OCTOBER ROUND) IN 2013 were:
1st Prize BENJAMIN MUHR SCIENCE
2nd Prize YINING GU BUSINESS
3rd Prize THI HA MY BUSINESS
4th Prize MADELEINE WANT ARTS AND SOCIAL SCIENCES