Eurostudent Survey

1. Eurostudent Survey V: Report on the Social and Living Conditions of Higher Education Students in Ireland


Within today’s global ‘knowledge economy’ higher education institutions have a vitally important role to play in shaping tomorrow’s citizens, leaders, entrepreneurs, and workforce; and the quality of the student experience is a primary determinant of their success in this endeavour. Nevertheless, while students are key stakeholders in higher education, the student-voice all too often remains unheard by policy-makers. This Eurostudent report makes an important contribution to addressing this information-deficit, providing a wealth of internationally comparable demographic, economic, and social data. Complementing the Irish Survey of Student Engagement (ISSE), the Eurostudent Survey gives an insight into the quality of life of the increasing diversity of students in Irish higher education, and into how this affects their learning experience. The survey was co-ordinated in Ireland by Insight Statistical Consulting on behalf of the Higher Education Authority (HEA).


  • Student accommodation
  • Student travel
  • Student demographics
  • Student disability
  • College entry routes
  • Course characteristics
  • Student social class



Full-time and part-time students attending higher education in Ireland (26 higher education institutions).

Temporal coverage

Dates of fieldwork: 01/04/2013 to 31/05/2013

Time dimension

Repeated cross-sectional study; this is the 5th report in 14 years.

Geographical coverage

Republic of Ireland

Methods of data collection

Data collection was primarily by online survey (>99%) with some self-completed mailed versions. The survey is a stratified sample (i.e. sampling took place separately from different strata in the population/sampling frame). Responses were received from 26 higher education institutions and weighted by interlocked type (part-time and full-time status) and gender at the institution level.


The valid survey-responses were weighted to reflect the known students in higher education population parameters of inter-locked gender and full/part-time status by institution. Since response-rates were different for various sub-populations of students, a series of weights were calculated to reflect these different response-rates. As with all sample surveys, it is assumed that the sample of students from the sub-populations is a representative sample from their respective population. Unless otherwise stated, all results quoted in the report are based on the weighted sample of responses.

Two weights are provided in the datafile, one (WP) to provide a weighted total (approximately 200,000 students) and another (WS) to provide a weighted sample total (approximately 10,000 students).

Response rate

The overall response-rate of 5.1% was lower than that of the previous EUROSTUDENT survey (approximately 7.5%) but should be considered in the context of being conducted during April/May 2013, which was a busy time for examinations and study. In addition, in February/March 2013 students in Ireland had just responded to the pilot of the Irish Survey of Student Engagement (ISSE) and so a certain amount of survey-fatigue was to be expected.

2. Eurostudent Survey IV

Data for Eurostudent IV was collected via an Internet based survey of thirty higher education institutions from November 2009 to January 2010. In addition, a postal questionnaire was also used with the aim of increasing participation among part-time students who may not often access their academic email.  The survey was co-ordinated in Ireland by Insight Statistical Consulting on behalf of the Higher Education Authority.

Although the profile of respondents was close to the known population profile, survey responses were weighted to reflect the known population parameters of gender and full/part-time status by institution. The main characteristics of the weighted sample are:

  • approximately 62% of students were enrolled in a University and 38% in an Institute of Technology;
  • approximately 82% of students were classified as full-time and 18% were part-time;
  • females represented 54% of all respondents;
  • approximately 90% of students were domestic students and 10% were international (non-Irish); and
  • approximately 81% of students were undergraduates, 13% were post graduates (excluding PhD) and 6% were PhD students. 

3. Eurostudent Survey III

The third wave of the Irish Eurostudent survey was conducted by the research team at the UCD Geary Institute, in conjunction with the Higher Education Authority and the RAND Corporation (Santa Monica): during winter 2006 and spring 2007. The target of the survey was the student population in 35 Irish higher education institutions (at both undergraduate and postgraduate level), with 31 institutions taking part. The third wave of the Irish Eurostudent used an internet approach involving a web-survey and the distribution of institutional email messages to students. Previous surveys were based on the distribution of postal questionnaires to a preselected sample of students. The response rate achieved in Eurostudent III was 8%; representing 13,342 students. Although the response rate for Eurostudent III was low, the total number of responses exceeded that of the previous two surveys.


Data (available through ISSDA application process)

File name

File format/s

Contents of file



All valid respondents



All valid respondents



All valid respondents

Documentation (available for download)

File name

File format/s

Contents of file






Variable information and values

Eurostudent V Report



E_IV Questionnaire



Eurostudent IV Report



E_III Questionnaire



Eurostudent III Report





Accessing the data

To access the data, please complete a ISSDA Data Request Form for Research Purposes, sign it, and send it to ISSDA by email.

For teaching purposes, please complete the ISSDA Data Request Form for Teaching Purposes‌, and follow the procedures, as above. This covers sharing of data with students in a classroom situation. Teaching requests are approved on a once-off module/workshop basis. Subsequent occurances of the module/workshop require a new application. If students will subsequently using data for projects/assignments they must submit their own request form for Research Purposes. Please contact us if you have any queries.

Data will be disseminated on receipt of a fully completed, signed form. Incomplete or unsigned forms will be returned to the data requester for completion.


Any work based in whole or part on resources provided by the ISSDA, should  acknowledge: “Higher Education Authority, Eurostudent Survey" and also ISSDA, in the following way: “Accessed via the Irish Social Science Data Archive -”.

Citation requirement

The data and its creators shall be cited in all publications and presentations for which the data have been used. The bibliographic citation may be in the form suggested by the archive or in the form required by the publication.

Bibliographical citation

Eurostudent V: Ireland 2013 [computer file]. Dublin: Higher Education Authority & Dublin: Insight Statistical Consulting [producers], 2013. Dublin: Irish Social Science Data Archive [distributor], 2014.

Eurostudent IV: Ireland 2009-2010 [computer file]. Dublin: Higher Education Authority & Dublin: Insight Statistical Consulting [producers], 2010. Dublin: Irish Social Science Data Archive [distributor], 2010.

Eurostudent III: Ireland 2006-2007 [computer file]. Dublin: Higher Education Authority & Dublin: Geary Institute, UCD [producers], 2007. Dublin: Irish Social Science Data Archive [distributor], 2007.

Depositing requirements

The user shall notify the Irish Social Science Data Archive of all publications where she or he has used the data.

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