MBA – Measure Business Always
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MBA – Measure Business Always

Irrespective of the nature of the business it is essential to regularly measure success/failure using client and staff feedback. One of the most useful mechanisms for this is the survey.

My business is an international MBA School located in Sydney, Melbourne and Adelaide with predominantly international students. Pre COVID, the School had in excess of 1,000 full time MBA students – post COVID (despite the hammering), we are back with 500 full time students and growing.

Student and staff surveys are an embedded, regular activity that provide us with essential guidance for continuous improvement. We currently utilise four student surveys and a single staff survey.


Student Feedback on Unit (SFU) surveys

Each trimester we survey students across individual subjects. We use a standardised and appropriate set of questions including –


The subject provided useful knowledge and skills


The learning outcomes were achievable


The subject workload was manageable


The subject helped to develop relevant professional skills


The lecturer was well prepared for each class


The lecturer provided useful feedback


The lecturer had a good knowledge of the subject matter


The lecturer used e-learning resources


The lecturer was available to discuss learning problems outside of class time


The assessment requirements were clearly explained


Overall teaching in the subject was of high quality

The same set of questions have been used over 19 trimesters. The domestic blended mode uses the same lines – and the offshore program has a small number of variations.

The most recent aggregated outcomes include onshore MBA students (4.29/5); onshore domestic (4.77/5) and offshore international (4.39/5). Outcomes are shared with the school community and individual subject evaluations are accessed by teaching staff as part of the ongoing dialogue with Program Directors.


Stay on line/return to F2F surveys

From the outset of the COVID pandemic the School, and subsequently the MBA program, went online (became virtual). Systems and processes were put in place and measured each trimester to ensure both levels of satisfaction (SFUs) and whether students wished to remain on line as we emerged from the shadows of the pandemic. These surveys have been conducted over 12 trimesters and the most recent (T1, 2023) suggests that 95% of postgraduate students wish to remain on line. The qualitative feedback indicates the big issues being travel time; work life balance; COVID concerns; and money.


Graduate outcomes surveys

As part of the annual graduation process, students who have completed their award are asked to provide feedback across a number of domains including –


In what trimester did you complete your studies?


Following your studies are you employed?


How hard has it been to find a job?


What is your current salary?


How relevant was your course?


How satisfied are you with your overall educational experience?

The same survey has been administered for nine years and the data has been collected and compared see -

The overall satisfaction regarding the educational experience in the most recent survey - in 2022 - was 95%.


Quality Indicators of Learning and Teaching (QILT) surveys

Annually, the Australian Government collects data on levels of student satisfaction by way of the QILT surveys - - the results are shared nationally. My own School participates in the Student Experience Survey - – and performs consistently well. This comes as no great surprise given the SFU, online, and graduate outcomes – they are closely related given the fact they are the same students being surveyed.

The most recent results published in 2022 can be viewed at -


Staff Surveys

To complete the cycle we continually request feedback from staff (each trimester) using a standardised set of questions including –


You are provided with the tools and resources to do your job well


Your job requirements are clearly communicated and goals and strategies are clearly defined


You feel encouraged to come up with new and better ways of doing things


Your supervisor visibly demonstrates a commitment to quality


You are satisfied with the level of involvement in decisions that directly affect your work


UBSS does a good job of keeping employees informed about matters affecting your work


Overall, you are satisfied with your job

The surveys have been conducted over 19 trimesters and the most recent outcome provided a 4.68/5 satisfaction rating. Qualitative data is collected and acted upon wherever possible.

The danger is obviously over surveying – but if handled responsibility, questions kept to an appropriate minimum, and ease of completion is enabled – the data is invaluable in gaining an insight into how the School is operating and what changes (if any) need to be put in place.


Emeritus Professor Greg Whateley




Emeritus Professor Greg Whateley is the Deputy Vice Chancellor (UBSS) and Vice President (Academic) at GCA.