I got an email proporting to be a University Experience Survey, then a letter in the mail. To my old address, that UTS still haven’t updated despite repeated attempts to correct it.

They congratulated me on finishing my UTS studies, and said I’d been “selected” to engage in their experience survey, for the chance to win some token anchor store vouchers.

How did the UES know my personal details, address, my degree, and that I’d finished it? Did UTS provide a third party this information without my consent, or were they compelled to?


It seems UTS signed us up for it. From an email in August:

UTS is participating in the national 2014 University Experience Survey (UES), as it did in 2012 and 2013. Around 120,000 students completed the 2013 UES, making it the largest ever survey of current university students in Australia. The UES is being conducted to help universities and government improve your student experience. Results will play a key role in the ongoing evolution of Australian higher education.

Fortunately, they did (sort of) offer us an opt-out:

If you have any questions regarding the administration of the UES, or would prefer not to be invited to participate, please contact the UTS Planning and Quality Unit’s Survey Coordinator [..]

Prefer seems a little too soft a term. We should explicitly have an opt-out. Whatveer the case its a moot point, this should really be opt-in given personal information is involved.

I’ll be raising this with the Vice Chancellor.


Dear… [darn, now I need to look up his name],

I hope your new position has found you well.

Many of your students were recently sent invitations to participate in the University Experience Survey. With it, personal information including our addresses, degrees and estimated completion times were sent to this organisation.

UTS sent us email saying we could opt-out if we preferred. Given this involves personal information however, I would prefer this to be opt-in. I’ll admit it was a little disconcerting receiving a letter containing these details from an organisaion I’d had no dealings with before.

Peace, health and happiness,