Surveying UC students? Here’s what you need to know!

Did you know that there’s a policy that supports any surveying of UC students? If you collect survey data on students, this article is for you!

The UC Student Community Online Survey Policy (Survey Policy) covers all surveying of enrolled students or have graduated from UC. The policy outlines the conditions required for students receiving requests to participate in online surveys and the application processes and procedures for scheduling online surveys.

You can check out the Survey Policy here. Here are the key points to know:

  • Surveys that collect data to improve teaching and learning do not need consent unless the data may be used for publication
  • All other surveys that are distributed to students need express approval from the Office of the DVC-A. Complete this tool to start this iterative process
  • Contact details of students are categorised as “personal information” under New Zealand Privacy Laws, meaning that contact details of students must not be shared. Examples of this include, but are not limited to:
        • Providing lists of student emails to colleagues not involved with teaching within a specific course
        • Providing student email addresses to postgraduate students to enable data collection for research purposes
  • In line with the Privacy Policy and NZ’s privacy legislation, a student cannot be emailed an invitation to participate in a survey without either prior consent from the student or the Office of the DVC-A
        •  This includes sending an email invitation to students on someone else’s behalf (including from other institutions)
  • Agreement to participate in one project does not automatically constitute agreement to be contacted about subsequent projects unless this consent is explicitly given

The Survey Policy aims to protect against survey fatigue in particular groups of students and ensure the strategic goals of UC by enabling the collection of quality information. The Evaluation and Student Insights team will work with staff to identify other opportunities to recruit survey participants.

Major strategic surveys are conducted annually at UC and provide a wealth of information that is accessible to all staff via the UC Data Dashboards. Topics include Learning and Teaching, Well-being, Belonging, and Equity and Diversity. All data can be filtered by major subject area and other demographics, including age, gender, LGBTQIA+, ethnicity and more to allow for meaningful insights.

All staff can access the UC Data Dashboards here.

For any questions about the Survey Policy, or if you would like ESI to come to speak to you or your team about student survey data, please email Ellie Kay and Elyse Thompson at

For any questions about UC’s Privacy Policy or NZ privacy legislation, please email