Outlined below are responses to key questions typically asked about the project by both potential survey respondents and universities interested in taking part in the survey in the future.
The main focus of the work is to inform and support efforts to nurture inclusive cultures that celebrate, reward and support academic teaching achievement at universities participating in the survey. The survey is designed to help universities understand the experiences and perspectives of their academic community of how teaching is rewarded and supported. It will also allow universities to understand how the experiences and perspectives of their academic population compare to those at peer institutions worldwide.
Some participating universities have made changes, or are considering making changes, to how teaching is supported and/or recognised within academic careers. It is hoped the survey will provide helpful information about how university teaching is regarded by staff over time.
24 institutions (from ten countries) have participated or are participating in the Teaching Cultures Survey: Aalborg University (Denmark), Chalmers University of Technology (Sweden), DTU (Denmark), Eindhoven University of Technology (Netherlands), Kings College London** (UK), Leiden University* (Netherlands), Maastrict Univeristy** (Netherlands), Norwegian University of Science and Technology (Norway), Pontifical Catholic University of Chile (Chile), Radboud University (Netherlands), Skoltech (Russia)*, SOAS University of London* (UK), TU Delft (Netherlands), University College London** (UCL, UK), University of Amsterdam (Netherlands), University of Auckland (New Zealand), University of Edinburgh* (UK), University of Iceland* (Iceland), Universiti Teknologi Malaysia (Malaysia), University of Twente (Netherlands), Utrecht University (Netherlands), Vrije University Amsterdam (Netherlands), Wageningen University (Netherlands) and Western Sydney University* (Australia).
* not participating in the 2022 survey
** did not participate in the 2019 survey
The research is funded by the universities participating in the survey, with some additional support provided by the Royal Academy of Engineering in the UK and 4TU in the Netherlands.
The research is being undertaken as a collaboration between the participating universities and an external survey team. The survey team is being led by Dr Ruth Graham. The research forms one element of a wider project – the Advancing Teaching initiative – focused on improving the reward and recognition of university teaching.
The survey is open to all members of the academic community who hold a contract of employment with their university: PhD students (if engaged in a teaching capacity) and post-docs, faculty (tenured and non-tenured), individuals employed in education-focused roles, and academic leaders (such as disciplinary Deans and department heads). In addition to basic demographic information (gender, post, academic discipline and length of time working at the university), the questionnaire captures feedback on the attitudes, aspirations and experiences of teaching of the academic population.
The questionnaire takes around six minutes to complete and is written in English. It will be made available on this website as an open-source resource on completion of the project (planned for 2024/25).
The survey data is collected and stored by the external survey team. Survey data will not be shared with participating universities – only aggregated findings from it. It will be collected and exported via SurveyMonkey (a GDPR-compliant platform). It will be stored securely in Egress Secure Workspace until after the third survey (planned in 2024/25) and then securely deleted after completion of the study. The data will be used only for this research and will not be shared with any third party. The Privacy Notice for the Teaching Cultures Survey is available here.
Universities will be given analysed findings derived from their data, rather than the raw data itself. They will also receive comparative analysis – looking at their University’s findings against the wider data set of amalgamated findings from across all universities participating in the survey. Analysed findings will not contain personal data. In the aggregated findings provided to universities, care is also taken to maintain anonymity in case individuals may be identifiable by their profile: groups and categories (such as by role, gender or discipline) are collapsed with similar groups where the population size is five or less, or where 100% of participants in a group provided the same response.
There are two key project outcomes:
If a university would like to participate in a future stage of the Teaching Cultures Survey, please send a request and contact details through the 'Contacts' page of this website. After the final survey (planned for 2024), the survey questionnaire will be made available on this website as an open-source document for other universities to use.
Further information for participating universities is provided on this page.
Information which may be useful to survey participants is given below. Helpful information will also be contained in the email invitation asking if members of the university's academic population would like to complete the questionnaire (see here for a sample information leaflet).
What is the survey about? Your university is taking part in the Teaching Cultures Survey , a survey looking to understand how the status of teaching and learning is viewed by the academic community. Three cross-section surveys are being undertaken in all. The first survey was held in 2019, in which 21 universities from across the world participated. The survey is now being repeated in 2022 with a wider group of universities. Our aim is to hold the final survey in 2024/25. It is hoped the survey will provide helpful information about how university teaching is regarded by staff over time.
Who is funding the research? The research is funded by the universities participating in the survey. The survey is undertaken as a collaboration between these institutions and Advancing Teaching , a global initiative focused on improving the reward of university teaching.
Who should take part? All academic staff employed by each participating university have been invited to take part. Whatever your discipline or career stage, or how central teaching is to your current role, we would be grateful for your views. You can complete the survey regardless of whether you teach at all, are on parental leave, on sabbatical, or are employed part-time or full-time.
How long will it take? The survey takes around six minutes to complete.
Do I have to take part? No, taking part is entirely voluntary. We would encourage you to take part as the more participants there are, the more robust the research – but there is no obligation. By taking part, you are giving consent for your anonymised data to be used. If there are any questions you would prefer not to answer, you can move on to the next one. You can stop completing the survey at any point – your responses will not be submitted until you press ‘Done’ at the end of the survey.
What data does the survey collect? The survey is not collecting personal data such as names, email addresses or IP addresses. Only the research team (and not your university) see the survey data, and steps will be taken to ensure that no individual will be identifiable in the reports delivered to your institution. The survey includes some background questions on your role, gender, discipline, and how long you have worked at the university, to make it possible to look at any differences across groups. All other questions ask for your views of how the university currently supports and rewards teaching as part of an academic career. Because no names are collected, it will not be possible for the university to know who has participated.
What happens to the data? The survey data is collected and stored by the external research team. Participating universities will not have access to it. It will be collected and exported via SurveyMonkey (www.surveymonkey.com/) a UK GDPR compliant platform. The survey data will be stored on systems that meet the international standard in information security (ISO27001). The survey will be stored securely until after the third iteration of the survey (anticipated to be held in 2024/25) and then securely deleted 12 months after completion of the study. The data will be used only for this research and will not be shared with any third party. Because no names are collected or other identifiable information (such as IP addresses or email addresses), once the survey is completed, it will not be possible for participants to withdraw from the survey. Further details about who controls and processes the data, and your rights under UK GDPR regarding your data can be found in our Privacy Notice (www.teachingcultures.com/resources/Privacy.pdf).
How was the survey designed? The survey has been developed in collaboration with participating universities. It focuses on the attitudes, aspirations and experiences of teaching by the academic population. One-to-one interviews with academics and senior managers at 13 of the participating universities (from across eight countries) were used to refine and validate the questionnaire’s comprehensibility, coverage, length and structure, as well as its applicability across the different institutional contexts at the participating universities.
How will the findings be shared? There will be two sets of findings from the survey outcomes.
The first set will draw out general patterns from all the participating universities. The names of the participating universities will be noted, but the findings will only be presented at this aggregated level. No findings will be attributable to any individual university. The findings from the combined analysis will be made available on the study’s website (www.teachingcultures.com/Findings/) and participating universities will be notified when this information is available.
The second set of findings will focus on outcomes for your individual institution, with comparisons made to the aggregate outcomes from all participating universities. This second set of findings will be confidential to your university’s appointed survey lead and will not be shared elsewhere. Where the number of survey participants in a particular group (e.g. a discipline group) is small, findings will be presented in ways that protect anonymity, for example, by combining groups.
Who can I contact if I have queries or concerns about the survey? You can contact the individual contact point at your university. Their contact details are given in the information sheet attached to the email inviting you to participate in the survey.