Please note, this survey is now closed. Results will be shared with the RMIT community in early 2022.

At RMIT, we are committed to creating a culture where everyone is safe, respected and included.

As part of that commitment, we’re participating in the National Student Safety Survey, which runs from 6 September to 3 October 2021.

The survey will gather critical information about students’ experience of sexual assault and sexual harassment, on and off-campus. The results will help universities across Australia – including RMIT – create a safer environment for everyone, and better support those who experience sexual harm.

The survey will be conducted by the Social Research Centre (SRC) in collaboration with Associate Professor Anastasia Powell from RMIT, on behalf of Universities Australia. It has been approved by the RMIT Human Research Ethics Committee. 

It builds on a previous survey carried out in 2016. Since then, Australian universities and students have instigated at least 800 major initiatives to prevent and address sexual violence across society. Read about some of the initiatives introduced by RMIT.

Taking part in the survey

A random selection of 10,000 RMIT higher education students, selected to be representative of the student population, will be invited by email to take part in the survey. This will include students at different levels, international students who are normally based in Australia, and those studying remotely.  

Participation is voluntary and anonymous. Completing the survey should only take 10-12 minutes.

If you receive an invitation, we encourage you to complete the survey. This will help ensure the results of the study accurately represent the views of all RMIT students. 

By taking part, you will be helping to create a safer community in which everyone can reach their full potential.

If you do not receive an invitation

The Social Research Centre is also running a project for any student who would like to share more about their experience of sexual harassment, sexual assault or unwanted sexual behaviour. It is open to all higher education students who have been enrolled in an Australian university in the past five years. No matter your circumstances, views or experiences, your participation is welcomed. All responses are completely anonymous and confidential. You can take as much time as you need to share your experiences and suggestions.  

Share your views anonymously by visiting the National Student Safety Survey website from 6 September to 3 October 2021. This option is open to all students who have been enrolled in an Australian university in the past five years, including current students and recent alumni. 

If you need support

We know that many people may experience distress talking about their experiences. Sexual harassment and assault are difficult topics for many people to discuss and we are here to support you.

Please contact the Safer Community team if you need support for yourself or a fellow student impacted by sexual harm, if you wish to report an incident, or if you have any questions. 

More support services

Learn more about the breadth of support services available at RMIT and within the community.

Frequently Asked Questions

A random selection of 10,000 higher education students from RMIT will be invited to take part in the survey. Factors like gender, year of study, residency and level of study will be taken into account to make sure the sample is representative of the student population. Only current students who are 18 years or over as of 22 February 2021 will be eligible to participate.

If you are selected, you will receive an invitation via email to your RMIT email address from the Social Research Centre (SRC). You may also receive an invitation via SMS. You can then complete the survey online.

Participation is voluntary. Completing the survey should take 10 to 12 minutes and you can stop and restart at any time. 

Whether or not you are selected, you can choose to share your views anonymously by visiting the National Student Safety Survey website from 6 September to 3 October 2021, as long as you have been enrolled at university in the last five years. The information you share will inform the SRC’s analysis and final report. 

No. Even if you are selected for the survey, you do not have to take part. If you wish to opt out of the survey or have any questions about being invited to participate in the survey, please contact the Social Research Centre on 1800 023 040 or email

Yes – higher education international students who would normally be on campus in Australia but are currently located offshore due to COVID-19 restrictions can participate in the survey if they are selected in the sample.

International students who never intended to study onshore in Australia will not be selected to participate in the survey.

If you are an international student studying offshore and require support, contact:

  • International SOS +61 2 9372 2468
  • 24/7 Health and Support Phoneline (Medibank): +61 2 8905 0307
Whether or not you are selected, you can choose to share your views anonymously by visiting the National Student Safety Survey website from 6 September to 3 October 2021, as long as you have been enrolled at university  in a higher education degree in the last five years. In-depth accounts of student experiences, and students’ suggestions for how universities can continue to improve, provides vital context.
No – the survey results will be confidential, de-identified and aggregated.

The survey includes questions on students’ attitudes towards violence. 

These questions have been adapted from the 2017 National Community Attitudes towards Violence against Women Survey (NCAS). The NCAS is the world’s longest-running survey of community attitudes towards violence against women and is funded by the Australian Government.  

While most young Australians (aged 16–24) have a good knowledge of key aspects of violence against women and support gender equality, NCAS findings show that too many young men believe that having control is a normal part of a relationship, and lack understanding about sexual consent. 

Many factors contribute to sexual violence. The evidence shows that attitudes that endorse violence, disrespect towards women and gender inequality are among these factors. Attitudes can serve as a barometer for progress, and where we may need to focus future efforts.  

If students have experienced violence, they will be able to identify whether it occurred at a university residential college or other student accommodation. 

Some universities, including RMIT, have also requested an additional set of questions on students’ perceptions of the culture and knowledge of support services at their accommodation. 

We are very aware that the survey will contain highly sensitive questions. Student and survivor wellbeing will be at the centre of the entire survey process. 

Support numbers and hyperlinks to relevant services will be on screen the whole time as you participate in the survey.  

At RMIT, the Safer Community team can help you find the right support services.

The Social Research Centre (SRC) is Australia’s leading social research organisation and has a respected track record conducting large-scale surveys. 

This includes the National Community Attitudes Towards Violence Against Women Survey (NCAS) with Australia's National Research Organisation for Women's Safety (ANROWS) and the Quality Indicators for Learning and Teaching student surveys for the Australian Government. 

The SRC will also work closely and in partnership with Associate Professor Anastasia Powell who is an independent academic and researcher with strong expertise in gender violence. 

Both the survey and the qualitative research project (which allows those not selected for the survey to share their views) have received ethics approval from the RMIT Human Research Ethics Committee.

De-identified and aggregated data will be released to RMIT and all participating universities in 2022 once the results are collected and analysed by the Social Research Centre and Associate Professor Powell. 
No. Rigorous cognitive testing conducted by the SRC in partnership with Associate Professor Anastasia Powell showed that translation into other languages won’t be necessary. Cognitive testing is where people are asked if the questions make sense to them, and that they understand what is being asked of them.

RMIT has put in place an extensive range of programs and initiatives to help ensure every student and staff member feels valued, respected and safe. These include but are not limited to:

  • Developed the Vice-Chancellor’s Prevention of Gender-based Violence Workplan, detailing actions to prevent and respond to violence across the entire University community.   
  • Conducted an independent review of policies and procedures that relate to safety and respect with agreed action to develop new policies and procedures, for example Family and Domestic Violence and Child Safety. 
  • Run our annual ‘Be the Change’ campaign to build understanding of the gendered nature of violence, awareness of support services and key prevention actions.  
  • Provided opportunities to grow practical knowledge and skills through workshops, events and learning modules, including Gender-Based Violence Prevention, Responding to Disclosures of Sexual Harm and Bystander Intervention training. 
  • Appointed a Child Safe Advisor position and expanded our Safer Community team resources. 
  • Provided remote support to students experiencing gender-based violence during COVID-19. 
  • Established a campus shuttle bus (Bundoora campus) and improved lighting and access across all RMIT campuses. 

Yes – the SRC and Associate Professor Powell engaged students, survivors, experts and key organisations in the design of the survey. Students were also consulted in the development of the survey promotional material including posters and social media resources. 

This included LGBTIQA+ and international students.  

Universities Australia and the SRC held a stakeholder roundtable as part of the process, which included representatives from End Rape on Campus (EROC), Council of Australian Postgraduate Associations (CAPA), National Union of Students (NUS) and Council of International Students Australia (CISA). 

Universities Australia and the SRC received further advice from ACON on appropriate language when asking students to identify their sexuality and gender.