National Student Safety Survey

6 September – 3 October 2021

National Student Saftey Survey logo The Social Research Centre has been funded to conduct the next national survey on students’ perceptions of safety at Australian universities and experiences relating to sexual harassment and sexual assault.

Our research team has partnered with leading expert on violence prevention Dr Anastasia Powell of RMIT to re-design and deliver the survey. The 2021 survey will build on and extend the first survey on sexual harassment and sexual assault conducted by the Australian Human Rights Commission in 2016.

The main national survey will be conducted at all universities in September 2021. The study has been funded by Universities Australia (the peak body for the university sector) and has been approved by the RMIT Human Research Ethics Committee.

Why is the survey being conducted?

The National Student Safety Survey is being conducted as part of the Respect. Now. Always. Initiative. The aim of the survey is to measure the prevalence of sexual assault and harassment experiences among university students at Australian universities. It will also measure broader perceptions of safety and views towards student campus life. The findings of the survey will help to measure the extent of these experiences among university students. This in turn will help to understand the context in which these behaviours occur, understand help seeking and reporting behaviours, and inform universities’ services and responses for student safety and wellbeing.

How do I take part in the survey?

From 6 September – 3 October 2021, students will be randomly selected to participate in the survey to ensure results are representative of the student population. If you have been randomly selected, you will initially be approached via email. Some students may also receive an invitation via SMS.

If you are not randomly selected, you can still have your say by clicking the button below.

What is involved if I am invited to participate?

Participation is voluntary and involves completing an online survey. The survey questions will take most people 10 to 12 minutes to complete. No matter your circumstances, views or experiences, your participation in the survey is important as it will help ensure the results of the study accurately represent the views of all students at your university.

How can I share more about my experiences?

An anonymous online form is available for students who would like to share more about their experiences. The online form is open to all current university students, or students that have been enrolled in an Australian university in the past five years and can be accessed at from 6 September.

If you have been invited to participate in the survey, we ask that you complete the survey before the online form.

How did we get your contact details?

Universities have provided information about you to the Social Research Centre for the sole purpose of conducting the survey. All information is treated confidentially and stored on a secure computer system.

Once the national survey data collection is completed, all survey responses will be permanently de-linked from contact information used to invite you to participate, meaning that there will be no information in your survey responses that can identify you.

All personal information will be destroyed by the Social Research Centre as soon as practical on completion of the research.

The Social Research Centre complies with the Australian Privacy Principles. For further information on our privacy policy, please see

Support services

Student safety and wellbeing is at the centre of the research process as the survey is developed and deployed. Contact details of free and confidential support services will be provided to you before, during and after the survey. These include university-based counselling and support services, as well as external counselling services, such as:

Please be aware that your survey responses about any sexual harassment or assault you may have experienced or witnessed do not constitute a formal report to your university. Your answers are completely confidential.

  • If you would like to make a formal report of sexual harassment, you may do so by contacting the national or state/territory anti-discrimination agencies or your University.
  • If you would like to make a formal report of sexual assault, you may do so by contacting the police or your University.

Further information

If you have any questions about being invited to participate in the survey, or you would like to opt out of the study, please contact 1800 023 040 or

Universities Australia FAQ