Beyond Surveys: Transforming Student Support in Higher Education


By Isobel Forsyth, Research Coordinator, SMRS

During my undergraduate degree, I noticed that student feedback surveys were only conducted at the beginning and end of the academic year. The insights gained from these surveys were applied to the next cohort of students. However, I felt that my worries and troubles were never addressed. It seemed as though the surveys were just an exercise to make it appear like my university was “addressing” problems.

I was fortunate to have a robust support system that helped navigate me through my studies. However, I can’t help but think that students who didn’t have access to such support or who grappled with mental health challenges may have felt overlooked or unsupported.

A simple, timely intervention could have shown them that their university cares about their needs and mental health. The additional benefit to the university is that their students would be more likely to feel positive about them and (hopefully) go on to share that with peers. Unfortunately, I see more of the opposite happening, with students sharing their bad experiences online, creating negative perceptions of institutions for future students.

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If universities received this feedback directly, they could solve these problems whilst these students were still at university!  

Reflecting on my academic journey, if my university had contacted me frequently at more pivotal points during the academic year, such as around Christmas break or exam season they may have gained a more in-depth insight into their student’s overall wellbeing and experience.  

This is why SMRS’s collaborative work with Student Pulse has impressed me.  

StudentPulse offers universities a revolutionary way to measure and understand student experience and wellbeing. Using micro-surveys across key points of the calendar, StudentPulse asks prospective and current students about their journey, assessing their experience against three important pillars, academic, social and wellbeing. Through AI-driven feedback, if a student’s wellbeing response is deemed low, StudentPulse provides them with supportive materials from Student Minds.  

StudentPulse provides a framework that poses the right questions, enabling universities to enhance their student experience, strengthen their competitive positioning and elevate their brand perception. If students are struggling, universities must support them. Regardless of the strength of your brand reputation, neglecting student wellbeing can severely damage the perception of a university.   

When I faced difficult periods at university, if I had access to the right resources, I would have felt more integrated into my university – rather than feeling like just another student filling a seat. By proactively addressing concerns, universities can demonstrate genuine consideration for students, who will (hopefully) go on to discuss how great their time was at university – and not how difficult it was to succeed. 


For more information on the work we do with StudentPulse make sure to check out the link below

Boost student experience and wellbeing with StudentPulse


By Isobel Forsyth, Research Coordinator, SMRS