Frequently asked questions about AUT student surveys

This page includes frequently asked questions about AUT’s student surveys, including how we ensure your privacy and confidentiality, and how we use your feedback.

What about the confidentiality and privacy of my information and responses?

Your responses to any of our surveys remain completely and permanently confidential. Provided you do not identify yourself in the content of your comments, you will not be identifiable in any reports generated from the survey results.

1. AUT undertakes to collect and use information in accordance with the Privacy Act 1993.

All information is treated in the following manner:
  • No unnecessary information is held or collected
  • Access to computer files is restricted to staff in AUT’s Academic Quality Office
  • No individual respondents are identified in reports
  • All due care and respect is exercised

2. Individuals are not identified in any of the survey reports that are made available to faculties for the purposes of addressing areas of concern signalled by students.
To ensure confidentiality and anonymity, the results are not reported for any paper, programme or specific population subgroup where fewer than five students could have given feedback. However, these responses are included in the aggregate results (e.g. Department, Faculty, or University level summaries), so every voice counts.

3. In high level reports, your written comments are analysed using text analytics software or are manually summarised by staff from the Academic Quality office. Each of these methods group comments into themes (e.g. Positive comments about the library resources) where identification of individuals is not possible. From time to time, specific comments that illustrate a relevant theme may also be presented in these reports. Specific comments can only be used if they do not contain identifying information (e.g. “The library has great access to online journal articles” would be fine to use).

What happens to the information I supplied?

At the end of each survey, the information is aggregated to ensure individual responses can’t be identified.
Summaries of results are made available to staff and students on each survey page.
High level reports present quantitative and qualitative (comments) results broken down by demographic subgroups (such as qualification level, faculty or gender) and highlight priority areas for action.
Low level reports (e.g. paper and programme level) present quantitative and qualitative (comments) results and are provided to relevant staff for use in ongoing quality monitoring processes. Raw comments may be supplied in these reports.

Why do you keep sending me emails and reminders?

Surveys@AUT sends you an email invitation for each survey and will send you reminders if you have not yet completed one of your surveys. When we asked students, some agreed they appreciated the reminders, others felt overwhelmed. These reminders are not meant to annoy you, but we need your feedback to better support you. Every single survey completion increases the power of the student voice. We don't want you to miss out on this opportunity! Please complete all your surveys on Blackboard or Student Digital Workspace and you will no longer hear from us... until the next round!

What else should I be aware of?

AUT endeavours to provide a supportive environment for staff and students. This includes the content of digital communications. In cases where the Academic Quality Office are made aware of comments suggesting there could be a threat to the safety of students, staff, or the public, appropriate staff or authorities may be notified and/or receive a confidential copy of the survey form and relevant information. This is in line with the duty of care that AUT holds for their students and staff. Please also note that, under the Harmful Digital Communications act it is an offence to post a digital communication that is intended to cause harm to a victim, would cause harm to an ordinary reasonable person in the position of the victim, and/or does cause harm to the victim. 

Further Questions

If you have any other questions about student surveys conducted at AUT, please send us an email at