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National surveys

The surveys unit manages/coordinates a number of nationally based surveys.

Australian Graduate Survey is administered to graduates approximately four months following the completion of their course. There are three distinct components of the AGS:

  • Graduate Destination Survey (GDS) - looks at graduates' employment and further study activity four months after completion of their course
  • Course Experience Questionnaire (CEQ) - explores graduates' perceptions on their course and teaching staff
  • Postgraduate Research Experience Questionnaire (PREQ) - seeks feedback from research postgraduates' on their experience in their higher degree course

The AGS is nationally coordinated by Graduate Careers Australia (GCA). Survey Services manages the ECU campaign; codes responses from graduates and organises the final submission of ECU's data set.

Universities are required to achieve a 50% response rate in order to make any public use of their data. ECU’s response rates are typically around the national average, or above, and in the range of 55% to 62% depending on the cohort, or GDS/CEQ focus.

Access to ECU results for both GDS and CEQ is available via the EIM data warehouse which now hosts a number of managed reports. Please contact your School, or the data warehouse team ( for assistance.

AGS data is used in a range of university reporting, and also feeds into the My University website, and the Good Universities Guide.

Graduate Destination Survey (GDS)

Graduate outcomes are coded by the GCA to a single most appropriate category for reporting purposes. The most commonly reported measure from the GDS is the percentage of ‘available’ graduates who are in full-time work at the time of the survey. Available means those who are in or seeking full-time work. It is common for GDS data to be reported only for domestic graduates, and frequently just for bachelor-level qualifications.

Course Experience Questionnaire (CEQ)

The CEQ is typically reported in terms of three core scales (strictly speaking, two scales and a single item): The composition of these scales is as shown below.

Scale Label Item
Good teaching


The staff put a lot of time into commenting on my work.

GTS03 The teaching staff normally gave me helpful feedback on how I was going.
GTS10 The teaching staff of this course motivated me to do my best work.
GTS15 My lecturers were extremely good at explaining things.
GTS16 The teaching staff worked hard to make their subjects interesting.
GTS27 The staff made a real effort to understand difficulties I might be having with my work.
Generic skills GSS06 The course helped me develop my ability to work as a team member.
GSS14 The course sharpened my analytic skills.
GSS23 The course developed my problem-solving skills.


The course improved my skills in written communication.
GSS42 As a result of my course, I feel confident about tackling unfamiliar problems.
GSS43 My course helped me to develop the ability to plan my own work.
Overall satisfaction scale OS149 Overall, I was satisfied with the quality of this course.

Graduates can respond on up to two majors, and use a five-point Likert agree-disagree scale (strongly disagree, disagree, neither agree nor disagree, agree, strongly agree)

CEQ reporting can use a range of metrics:

  • % Agreement: the proportion of responses which are ‘agree’ or ‘strongly agree’
  • % Broad Agreement: the proportion of responses which are ‘neither agree nor disagree’, ‘agree’ or ‘strongly agree’.
  • Mean Scale Score: this is based on a mapping of the five response categories to -100, -50, 0, 50, 100.
  • Other metrics: various Commonwealth Government reports, including the My Universities website, use a metric which can be seen as a compromise between % Agreement and % Broad Agreement.

The first of these, % Agreement, tends to be the most commonly reported metric in the sector. The GCA recommends a general rule of thumb that differences of less than 5 points are not likely to be of ‘practical interest’.

The Student Experience Survey (known pre-2015 as the University Experience Survey UES) is a key initiative developed by the Australian Government designed "to ensure ongoing improvement in the quality of learning and teaching" and is part of a suite of national surveys under the banner QILT, or Quality Indicators in Learning and Teaching. The survey was administered in all Australian universities for the first time in 2012. It is currently administered, in conjunction with universities, by a The Social Research Centre. The focus is typically First Years and Later Years undergraduates. The data will be used by the Australian Government in the QILT website and by universities for quality improvement.

The BGS can be seen as an extension of the AGS, where students surveyed upon completion of their courses are then followed up 3 and then 5 years afterwards and asked similar questions about their employment status, further study outcomes, and perceptions of their ECU course.

The ISB is a survey of international students (onshore) in which the majority of Australian universities, and many universities globally, participate. ECU has been involved since 2010. International students are asked about their experiences of arrival, learning and support. The ISB is overseen by iGraduate.

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