Measures how quickly students wish to commence their study.
The Student Sentiment Index
The Student Sentiment Index (SSI) is a leading indicator measuring student sentiment within our education sector – the degree of optimism or positivity that prospective students exhibit towards commencing study.
Designed to be used by employers, industry bodies and governments, the Index provides insights that can influence future decisions in course creation and delivery, marketing and sales operations and more.
Understanding the sentiments, motivations and behaviours of prospective students is invaluable to anyone operating in the education sector in Australia. Our Student Sentiment Index reflects how prospective students are feeling, which is of even greater importance to education stakeholders than data about existing and past students.
Zig van der Sluys
Chief Executive Officer
Why we created the Index
We created the Student Sentiment Index to provide our education sector with enrolment data in real time.
Prior to 2016, we noticed a surge in demand for data on prospective students and their perceived attitudes towards our education system.
Although there were several reputable data sources, we identified a number of gaps with these indicators that we believed we could fill with our Index.
Changes in the sector impact the operations of many different stakeholders. The Index illustrates the impact of economic, social and political factors on the health of our education sector. The data from our Index can also help government and education providers shape policies, strategic decisions and operations to suit prospective students who are looking to pursue further education.
How it works
Understanding the sentiments of prospective students can be complex. To help with this, we’ve created four distinct sub-indices – Student Urgency, Motivation, Sensitivity to Funding and Confidence – that work together to create deeper insights into this student segment.
These sub-indices help measure how healthy our education sector is. An overall increase in student sentiment indicates a healthy education sector, where prospective students are more likely to pursue further education.
Student Urgency Index
Sensitivity to Funding Index
Measures how changes to funding arrangements affect prospective students’ decision to study.
Student Confidence Index
Measures how confident prospective students are in our education system.
Student Motivation Index
Measures how likely prospective students are to commence study within the next 12 months.
Who we surveyed
The Student Sentiment Index has been an ongoing data collection project that has been in effect since 2016. Responses are gathered monthly where each question is weighed proportionally against the four key sub-indices.
The Index uses a quasi-representative survey to capture insights. This method of data collection uses mobile technology to gather responses from an audience pool representative of the prospective students looking to study.
Our Index works by:
Who should use the Index?
The Student Sentiment Index is highly relevant to anyone working, operating or delivering education in Australia — from education providers, policy developers and government bodies, to industry and research associations.
The Student Sentiment Index will continue to deliver benefits for a range of stakeholders.
The SSI is a great resource for marketing and sales operations. The insights from our indices enable stakeholders to determine which student segments to target, what messages are important to them and how to best funnel them through the nurture journey.
Explore our yearly publications
As part of the Student Sentiment Index, we publish a series of articles that unpack each sub-index in more depth – providing a greater scope of insights for our stakeholders.
Explore our recent publications below.
12 Jun 2018
Forget School Leavers: Over 40’s Show the Most Urgency to Study
Where further study is involved, do over 40’s have the same urgency to begin their studies as someone who is beginning their career?
3 Aug 2018
Are Females More Sensitive to Funding Options When it Comes to Studying?
Do males and females react differently to funded courses? Are females more dependent on financial aid?
3 Aug 2018
Victoria Reacts to Free TAFE – The Impact on Prospective Students
How do funding initiatives affect the decision-making processes of prospective students?
31 May 2021
How COVID-19 Has Impacted Women’s Employment and Education
How has the pandemic disrupted women’s work and education opportunities?
8 Jun 2021
Young People, COVID-19 and its Toll on Study
How have mass job losses, travel restrictions and mental health concerns impacted young Australians and their education goals?
15 Jun 2021
Australia’s Response to National Education Funding Schemes
How have higher financial anxiety and stress contributed to a bigger appetite for government-funded courses?
18 May 2022
Student Sentiment Post-COVID: ‘Urgency to Study at an All Time Low’
What do learner ambition and academic progress look like post-COVID-19?
31 May 2022
A Five Year Analysis of Student Sentiment in Australia (2017 – 2021)
How has student sentiment changed over five years, and what trends may arise?