On Monday, the University launched the National Student Survey (NSS). The NSS is an annual satisfaction survey for final year undergraduate students. It asks wide-ranging questions about everything the University provides – from the teaching on your course and how you’re assessed, to the support and learning resources provided. There are also questions that relate specifically to Students’ Unions.
Results from the NSS are published by universities, as long as 50% of their students complete it, which allows them to be compared to each other. This allows prospective students to have an idea about how satisfied current students are at a university before they apply. It’s something that universities take incredibly seriously as it affects student recruitment and the university’s national and international reputation.
In the last few years, completion of the NSS has become a fraught topic, with the National Union of Students voting to boycott the survey last year. At the time, it was likely that the results of the Teaching Excellence Framework (TEF), which the NSS results feed directly into, could be linked to tuition fees. Put simply, a university scoring highly on its satisfaction survey, all other things being equal, could lead to it charging more for admission. Since then, this link between TEF and fees has been suspended, though there is no guarantee that it won’t be reintroduced.
NSS results allow the Officer Team to hold the University to account to make improvements that are needed. It often provides us with strong evidence to back up what we’re saying when lobbying the University for change and therefore is one of the best places that your voice as a student can be heard. NSS results are also useful to us at the Guild as it allows us to understand what students’ perception of us is, and which areas need improvement.
Ultimately, the decision on whether or not to fill it in is yours; it is not compulsory. If you would like to fill in the survey follow this link, otherwise you can opt out at any time. If you are interested in leading a campaign about the NSS, email firstname.lastname@example.org.