(Irish Survey of Student Engagement)

Study Number (SN): 0030-00


The Irish Survey of Student Engagement (ISSE), 2014

The Irish Survey of Student Engagement (ISSE), 2015

The Irish Survey of Student Engagement (ISSE), 2016

The Irish Survey of Student Engagement (ISSE), 2017

The Irish Survey of Student Engagement (ISSE), 2018 (Irish Survey of Student Engagement), 2019 (Irish Survey of Student Engagement), 2020 (Irish Survey of Student Engagement), 2021 (Irish Survey of Student Engagement), 2022 (Irish Survey of Student Engagement), 2023



The central aim of (Irish Survey of Student Engagement, formerly known by the acronym 'ISSE') is to develop a valuable source of information about students’ experiences of higher education in Ireland. The results of the survey are intended primarily to add value at institutional level, and to inform national policy. A detailed online survey was offered to first year undergraduates, final year undergraduates and postgraduate students on taught programmes. Data are presented as responses to individual items and as calculated scores for nine indicators that relate to broad aspects of student engagement, such as Collaborative Learning and Higher Order Learning. has formative links with the US National Survey of Student Engagement (NSSE) and the Australasian Survey of Student Engagement (AUSSE). Thus, Irish data can be evaluated in the context of other jurisdictions in addition to the national or sector contexts. 

Note that there was a substantial revision of questions deployed in 2016 results in the fact that 2020, 2019, 2018, 2017 and 2016 data may be compared directly, but do not fully compare to data from previous years. Another review was carried out in 2021, and some changes were made to the questions used in 2022.

Student engagement may be defined as students’ involvement in activities and environments that are likely to generate high-quality learning. Students are ultimately responsible for their own learning but this depends on institutions and staff creating an environment that encourages and promotes student involvement in educationally-relevant activities. Student engagement with higher education is seen as being enhanced through exposing students to a high quality learning environment. Measuring engagement can provide a means to develop a fuller understanding of the student experience above and beyond that ascertained through surveys of student satisfaction alone.


Main Topics:

  • Higher Education
  • Student Behaviour
  • Student Engagement
  • Student Participation
  • Students (College)


See individual waves for details


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. Teaching requests are approved on a once-off module/workshop basis. Subsequent occurrences of the module/workshop require a new teaching request form.

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.



The dataset is generated from a national collaborative partnership of the Higher Education Authority, Irish Universities Association, Technological Higher Education Association, the Union of Students in Ireland and participating higher education institutions.


Any work based in whole or part on resources provided by the ISSDA, should  acknowledge: “ (Irish Survey of Student Engagement)" 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.

See individual waves for details.


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