Social Research Centre

National Student Safety Survey

Have you been contacted about participating in this study?

Research Areas

Attitudes +

Education +

Equity +

Health +

Identity +

Project Status

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The 2021 National Student Safety Survey (NSSS) was funded by Universities Australia (UA) through its Respect. Now. Always. initiative – a sector-wide program that aims to prevent sexual violence in university communities and support those who have been affected. It builds on an important legacy of previous research and advocacy – Informing the ongoing efforts of Australian universities in building equitable, safe and inclusive learning experiences for their students. 


Caution to the reader

Please note that this project and associated reports contain descriptions of sexual harassment and sexual assault, as well as mentions of self-harm, drug use and suicide ideation. If you feel you would like to speak to someone for support or information in relation to these issues, you can contact these free support services:

  • 1800RESPECT (1800 737 732 or
  • Lifeline (13 11 14 or
  • QLife (1800 184 527 or
  • Relationships Australia (1300 364 277 or
  • Mensline Australia (1300 789 978 or


Universities Australia



Aims + Outcomes

The main objective of the NSSS was to establish the current prevalence of sexual harassment and sexual assault experiences among university students at Australian universities. More specifically, the objectives included: 

  • determining the current prevalence of sexual harassment and sexual assault among students at Australian universities 
  • exploring the context within which sexual harassment and sexual assault occurs, including the setting, connection to the perpetrator and pattern of abusive behaviour  
  • examining awareness and behaviours towards help seeking and reporting in relation to sexual harassment and sexual assault, and  
  • identifying key socio-demographic correlates of sexual harassment and sexual assault, as well as help seeking and reporting. 

Ultimately, the findings from the NSSS sought to help to contextualise how these behaviours occur, understand help-seeking and reporting behaviours, and inform universities’ services student safety and wellbeing.


The NSSS was undertaken online from 6 September 2021 to 3 October 2021. Students from UA universities across Australia participated in the survey.  

The in-scope population for the survey was students studying at Australian universities aged 18 years and over. A total of 43,819 student participated in the survey. 

Further information about the survey, methodology and results can be found at

All related enquiries, including request for the SRC, should be made to Universities Australia:, or

+61 2 6285 8111



1 in 6 students have been sexually harassed since starting university.


1 in 12 students have been sexually harassed in the past 12 months.

1 in 3

One in three university students have experienced sexual assault at least once. 


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Have you been contacted about participating in this study?

Who participates?

Master project template 2: who participates. Over 13,000 interviews will be undertaken across New South Wales in the coming months.

What are the benefits?

Master project template 2: benefits.  Your experience is valuable to us. Your response to the survey will contribute to the improvement of…

How does it work?

Master project template 2: how it works. You may have received a text message from 0481075514, or a phone call from 0290608424 or 0290608425 regarding this study.

How do we ensure privacy is protected?

Testing 2. The Social Research Centre complies with the Australian Privacy Principles. All personal contact information such as name, email and phone number is removed from the final data. Your responses will be de-identified, held in the strictest confidence and will not be disclosed to other organisations for marketing or research purposes. The responses of everyone who participates in this survey will be combined for analysis. Please see the SRC’s Privacy Policy.


How will the information be used?

Participation is always voluntary, but your participation is important.

Why? Because it ensures representativeness and that results can be projected to the population.

How long will the survey take to complete?

Our staff may have contacted you as part of a research survey. We are a social research company, exempt from the Australian Do Not Call Register, meaning we may call telephone numbers listed on the Do Not Call Register to conduct opinion polling and standard questionnaire-based research. We are not telemarketers, we are not selling a product and we do not provide your name or contact information to any other parties. 


The phone numbers we dial are either:

  • Randomly generated by computer, using known telephone exchange prefixes
  • Randomly selected from available telephone directories
  • Provided to us by our clients.

Master template test 2

Sample text goes here.

Master template test 2

Sample text goes here.


Full Analysis Report (Population Health Test)

Full Analysis Report (Population Health Test)

Get in touch


Support Services 

Discussions around sexual harassment and sexual assault can be distressing for many in our community. If you would like to speak to someone for support, there are national counselling and referral services available to you:

Support services are also available at each university for its community: