SCEQ Data Collection & Sampling Process

The SCEQ is currently administered every second year, late in semester two. The survey was first administered in 1999 and involved a census of all undergraduate students. In 2000, sampling of the undergraduate population was introduced to reduce the cost of data collection and allow the survey to be extended to include postgraduate coursework students.

In 2001 this sampling strategy was extended to those faculties with postgraduate coursework numbers greater than 500. For faculties with less than 500 postgraduate coursework students the postgraduate survey remains a population survey.

  1999 2000 2001 - current
Undergraduate
Students
Population
Survey
Stratified
random
sample*
Stratified
random
sample*
Postgraduate
Coursework
Students
  Population
Survey
Stratified
random
sample*
* For faculty enrolment >500 (all students sampled if <500)

Stratified random sampling

The sampling strategy was determined on the basis of expert statistical advice. It ensures that the random sample used is of sufficient size and of a composition that permitted meaningful conclusions to be made on the basis of the data.

  • The total population is first divided into the key strata of interest in the final analysis. For the SCEQ the strata of particular interest are (1) faculties, (2) aggregated degree courses and (3) commencing first year students.
  • The size of the top-level stratum sample is determined based on the nature of the characteristics of the data gathered from the previous year's census survey.
  • To ensure that all aggregated degrees are represented in the faculty sample, the target number of students from each degree are calculated based on the proportion of students from each degree present in the population of the faculty.
  • The University is particularly interested in the experiences of first year students. To ensure meaningful conclusions could be drawn from the data in relation to the experiences of these students, the random sample was further stratified to ensure that a representative number of first year students from each faculty were included.

This stratified random sample ensures that the results of statistical calculations using the SCEQ data can be reported with an appropriate level of confidence.


Data collection

In the interest of environmental sustainability, from 2013 the SCEQ is conducted entirely online, with no paper-based surveys being sent by post. The following data collection process is used to achieve the target response rate of 50% for each stratum sample level:

  • An email of the survey and covering letter is sent to all undergraduates inviting students to complete and submit the survey online via the ITL web site.
  • An email is sent to students who have not yet returned a completed survey, reminding them to please respond to the survey using the online form. These reminders are sent at regular intervals.
  • For faculties with low response rates, telephone interviewers are employed and trained to phone students to invite them to return surveys or to complete the survey by telephone.