3.1 WUSL is committed to the principle of student engagement in quality matters at all levels.

Our main purposes in gathering student feedback are:

  • to enhance the students’ experience of learning and teaching
  • to contribute to monitoring and review of quality and standards

Other objectives includes:

  • measuring student satisfaction with course design and delivery in terms of coherence and workload
  • finding out what worked and what did not and ways in which it might be improved next time
  • helping students to reflect upon their experiences
  • identifying good practice.

We rely on the feedback from our students to guide us and to confirm that the enhancements we make to our teaching learning provision translate to enhancement of the student learning experience. Effective student feedback relies on engagement of both staff and students. University places a number of expectations on the two groups.

Staff are expected to:

  • explain the purpose of collecting feedback, the methods that will be utilised, how the feedback will be analysed, how and when the findings will be considered and how actions taken as a result of the findings will be communicated back
  • encourage students to reflect on their learning experience
  • communicate responses to students and staff

Students are expected to:

  • reflect on their learning experience
  • provide feedback on their learning experience and other relevant/associated matters
  • engage with representatives of the Students’ Unions and communicate in responsible manner.

3.2 Levels of students’ feedback

Different users require feedback at different levels, such as:

  • Individual lecturer or class
  • Module or unit
  • Programme of study
  • Department
  • Faculty
  • University

3.3 Mechanisms

University use a combination of mechanisms to collect student feedback. Any single mechanism has its drawbacks. Quantitative feedback (for example, through questionnaires) can be used to provide ‘evidence’ that something is going well or not so well and such evidence will normally be required for quality assurance purposes. Qualitative information (for example, through open-ended response sections of questionnaires and from student representatives) can help explain why something is going well or not so well.

Different mechanisms are needed for different purposes, levels and contexts.

Our mechanisms are:

  1. Student representation in Faculty Boards
  2. Student feedback of Course, Course units or Modules and Teaching
  3. Students’ satisfaction surveys
  4. Student-Staff Liaison Committees (SSLC)
  5. Informal feedback to lecturers/tutors via lectures/seminars/tutorials, discussion groups, and other informal mechanisms

1. Student representation:

The University’s processes for securing effective student engagement in quality assurance and enhancement include the gathering of individual and collective feedback from students, the deployment of elected students, Faculty and programme representatives on relevant Faculty/University committees, an ongoing programme of induction (See Annexure 1) and support for students and staff appropriate to their quality assurance roles, and a commitment to the monitoring, review and enhancement the effectiveness of these policies and processes for engaging students. The University maintains a Student Charter in partnership with Wayamba University Students Union, which presents the mutual expectations and obligations of staff and students for supporting and improving the educational experience of the student body.

Election of student representatives to the Faculty Board is organised by the Students’ Union of the Faculty. At lower levels, classes or other groupings of students are invited to elect representatives, with the process being prompted and facilitated by staff at the beginning of each semester or year.

As part of the University’s commitment to enabling student engagement with quality assurance Faculties must ensure that they have adequate formal student representation on the Faculty Board. These meetings shall, as far as possible, be scheduled for times and dates when the student representatives are able to attend. Each Faculty will have a mechanism in place to ensure that the student representatives are able to effectively disseminate discussions from the Faculty Board to the student cohort. It is required that all matters raised by student representatives at the relevant committee must be given proper consideration and duly minuted. Where an action cannot be implemented, the grounds should be explained and minuted.

2. Student feedback of Course units and Teaching (SACT)

The University encourages staff to use a variety of mechanisms to obtain student feedback to promote ongoing dialogue between students and staff. All faculties must use course evaluation questionnaire as a method of gathering student feedback. To ensure practice is consistent, the University sets out guidelines for gathering course evaluation data from students. These guidelines covers the means of collecting, presenting, and responding to questionnaire data.

Student assessment of course units/module and teaching (SACT) carried out every semester, and all registered students have the opportunity to take part in the survey. The outcomes of SACT are summarised and reviewed by SSLCs, and inform Annual Review of Course reports.  Departments also let students know what action was taken in response to previous surveys before they complete their own.


Scope and timing of SACT:

  • Each course unit/module must be assessed every year during the semester in which the course unit is offered.
  • All registered students should have the opportunity to respond to the paper-based or online survey
  • Departments should undertake the survey in the last three weeks of the course unit/module

The key elements of the Guidelines on course evaluation are:

  • All courses must use a course questionnaire as one of the methods to obtain feedback from students. Feedback must be collected by Faculties from students returning from work-based learning (In-Plant) or a placement.
  • The minimum requirement for the questionnaire is the inclusion of five core questions (See Annexure 2). If desired, the questionnaire may be extended by adding further questions.
  • Students should be given clear instructions on how to complete the questionnaire and advised when it will be circulated.
  • For each course, the data from the completed questionnaires should be summarised in a ‘Summary and Response’ document which is made readily available to students during the first 3 weeks of the following semester to demonstrate to students that their feedback is valued.
  • All individual data will be treated confidentially. Aggregated data will be more widely distributed and used for institutional purposes.
  • In completing Summary and Response documents, staff are encouraged to reflect on the feedback provided and to follow up on issues identified in more detail and greater depth, if necessary, to ensure their responses are targeted and result in a real improvement to the learning experience. Some of the different options for doing this are described in the QAC’s Code of Practice on Obtaining and Responding to Student Feedback. Summary and Response documents should be used in Staff Student Liaison Committees but staff and student representatives also have a responsibility to communicate the responses to matters raised more widely to all students and other relevant members of staff.


  • All faculties must conduct course evaluation using paper based questionnaires. There is a central questionnaire (See Annexure 2) that all course units /modules should use. University expects to introduce on-line surveys in due course. Paper based surveys should be conducted centrally by the Dean’s office of the respective faculties in the last three (3) weeks of the semester. Dean, in consultation with Heads of Departments and/or Teaching-Learning Committee of the Faculty should assign an officer (preferably the Assistant Registrar) for this purpose. She/he co-ordinate with all course in-charges and conduct the survey.
  • This questionnaire contains 5 core questions and additional questions can be added if the teaching team wants to gain more specific information.
  • Questions can be added at the discretion of the Dean in liaison with TLC of the faculty, and on recommendation by the Head of Department; however, the maximum number of questions on a survey is 20 (not including repetition of questions one to five).
  • The threshold for including staff members in SACT is 25% of teaching time on the module. Should a staff member who delivers less than 25% wish to be evaluated, they could nonetheless be included. The Head of Department can decide whether the department specifies a minimum number of teaching sessions that a staff member has to contribute to in a module before being part of the SACT questionnaire as long as all staff teaching more than 25% are included.
  • Data analysis will be performed by the Dean’s Office and feedback will be given to respective course in-charges individually with the authorization of the Dean (or Assistant Registrar of the Faculty).


  • Processed results (see under ‘Confidentiality’ below) should be discussed at a departmental meeting to look at themes and trends and to consider any changes that might be appropriate in the light of the survey outcomes.
  • The Student Staff Liaison Committee should receive a summary report on the student assessment of course units/modules, in order to inform students of the action resulting from each individual module survey. After discussion at Student Staff Liaison Committee, the summary report should be published on the web and accessible to all students.
  • The Head of Department must ensure that the outcomes of SACT are considered as part of Annual Review of Courses.
  • All students should be informed of the outcomes of the previous SACT results. Course Unit / Module Coordinators should inform students at the start of teaching of any changes to the structure, content and/or assessment of the course unit / module made as a result of the previous year’s SACT.


  • Responses will be anonymous and results will be treated confidentially.
  • Evaluation is carried out within departments or by a central unit attached to the Dean’s Office. SACT reports can nonetheless be used as individual evidence for staff promotion.
  • SACT generates raw and processed data and different levels of confidentiality apply to these forms of data.
  • SACT questionnaires include questions about the quality of the module, teaching, assessment and feedback. Particular attention should be given to maintaining the confidentiality of data relating to the quality of teaching by individuals.
  • The Dean / Head of Department should ensure teaching staff are aware of how the data will be reviewed.
  • Raw data – Students’ responses to SACT questionnaires represent raw data which should be confidential between the individual member(s) of staff teaching on a course unit/module or course in-charge.
  • Processed data – Processed data, such as reports written about the outcomes of SACT, will form part of the Annual Review of Courses process. Such reports are not need to be confidential and should be disseminated in a timeframe which aligns with the requirements set out in the reporting section above.


  • The primary responsibility for ensuring that department-based SACT is being carried out in accordance with Senate policy rests with Dean / Heads of Department or other teaching units. Faculty TLC will receive reports on the annual SACT exercise as part of its review of Annual Review of Courses reports.
  • The questionnaire is reviewed annually by TLC to consider the optional questions used by departments in order to remove unused questions and include new questions relating to new modes of study.

3. Students’ satisfaction surveys: Students’ satisfaction surveys are University-wide surveys that the University uses to measure overall satisfaction amongst students. Students’ satisfaction surveys are conducted annually via the questionnaires administered by IQAU. Once the results have been reviewed and analysed, the University / Faculty can then enhance the student experience.

4. Student-Staff Liaison Committees (SSLC): SSLC are an opportunity for course representatives to feedback on behalf of their fellow peers on areas of good practice and areas that need to be improved. Students have an opportunity to raise issues via their SSLC. This feedback is considered by the Faculty as part of the annual monitoring process. Each Faculty should have at least two SSLCs, one for undergraduates and one for postgraduate students.

Key Principles of Student Staff Liaison Committees

All SSLCs are guided by the following principles, which aim to ensure that SSLCs:

  • provide an accessible forum to enable students to discuss teaching, learning and student support issues with staff in an open manner, within the framework of the formal structures. The academic department should consult with SSLC on new proposals, including changes to courses.
  • encourage the resolution of issues and improvements at a departmental level. Issues raised through the SSLC should be discussed regularly and promptly at staff meetings.
  • ensure that discussions and resulting actions are documented and disseminated to the student body represented through the SSLC.
  • ensure that issues which remain unresolved are escalated where necessary to the relevant Faculty Committees. This is to ensure that such issues can be escalated within the University and discussed more widely.
  • operate with transparency through the publication of SSLC minutes to all current students and the Students’ Union.

SSLCs are not the place for students to air their personal grievances.

Aims and objectives of Student Staff Liaison Committees

  • To facilitate greater communication between students and academic staff.
  • To identify areas of concern to students and/or staff.
  • To assist student input at all levels of decision making.
  • To disseminate examples of good practice within the department.
  • To promote engagement of student participation in quality assurance and enhancement.

Faculty Student Staff Liaison Committee membership

  • Faculties or Departments areas are responsible for operating SSLCs according to the structure that works best for them and their students, with a minimum requirement of a Faculty level SSLC. Each study programme or each level can have SSLCs or have a combined SSLC for all levels of study within a particular programme. The frequency of meetings can also vary depending on the duration of the course/programme, but a minimum of at least one meeting in each semester is expected.
  • The Dean and Heads of Departments shall be members of SSLC ex-officio. Relevant Directors of Postgraduate courses / Chairpersons of Board of Studies are included in case of the postgraduate SSLC. One senior academic staff member from each department shall be nominated by the Faculty Board.
  • Student membership of SSLCs should be drawn from the nominated Year Representatives as determined by respective student groups of each degree programme. They should represent programmes and each year. It is recommended that students should be in the majority present at all SSLC meetings.
  • President of the Faculty Students’ Union (only for undergraduate SSLC)
  • SSLCs shall be chaired by the Dean (or his/her nominee). The Dean and Heads of Departments are responsible for any decisions reached by the committee and that specific action points from the meetings are fulfilled.
  • The secretary to the SSLC shall be the Assistant Registrar of the Faculty.
  • Observers shall be invited to attend the SSLC at the discretion of the Chair.

Student-Staff Liaison committee meetings

  • SSLCs should normally meet at least once per semester.
  • SSLCs must be publicised to the wider student body so that they may inform the student representatives of any issues.
  • It is recommended that the agenda for the SSLC should include the following as a minimum for the standard items:
    • Chair’s report on developments or updates from any actions points from the previous meeting
    • consultation with students on Annual Review of Courses reports, External Examiner reports, Satisfaction survey outcomes and Student assessment of course units/module and teaching
    • new and revised programme developments (if any)
    • review of the relevant handbook (annually)
  • The unconfirmed minutes of an SSLC meeting, as approved by the Chair, should normally be posted on the relevant department/school/centre webpage/LMS, or any other appropriate places, normally within 10 working days of the meeting. The minutes should include actions agreed by the SSLC in response to issues raised, who will take it and by when.
  • Approved minutes should be made available to all members of the relevant student group (may be via LMS) and to all members of staff.
  • SSLC should receive updated reports on actions at the next meeting. It is also important to report back where it has not been possible to progress an issue along with the reasons why. In doing so, Faculties/Departments can demonstrate that they are committed to the process and take students’ issues seriously. Representatives can also take responsibility for reporting back to the wider student body.
  • If a concern cannot be resolved at the SSLC, it should be referred onwards to the Faculty Teaching & Learning Committee or Academic & Curriculum Development Committee. If no progress is made, unresolved issues which require the attention of the Faculty Board or the Senate should be highlighted in the Annual Monitoring process. Student representatives can access additional support from the appropriate Faculty Students Union if they feel that an issue is not being dealt with appropriately or quickly enough or with issues that cannot be resolved at the SSLC.


5. Informal feedback to lecturers/tutors via lectures/seminars/tutorials, discussion groups, and other informal mechanisms:    These can be obtained by lecturers or tutors verbally or in writing and recorded for teaching-learning enhancement process.