What Actually Is The National Student Survey (NSS)?
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What Actually Is The National Student Survey (NSS)?

Ella Kipling April 28, 2022

If you’re a final year university student, chances are you have been contacted by the National Student Survey at least once… or more likely at least ten times.

But what actually is the National Student Survey, and why do I keep getting emails and phone calls from them?

The NSS is described as ‘your chance to look back on your higher education experience and speak out on everything from your teaching on your course, access to resources and equipment, and even about the student voice.’

The survey is anonymous, which means you can be completely honest about your university and give feedback that is truthful and open. This year, the survey is open from January 6 to April 30, which means that it is closing this week.

What questions will I be asked?

You have to answer 27 core questions to do with teaching on your course, learning opportunities, assessment and feedback, academic support, organisation and management, learning resources, learning community, student voice, and overall satisfaction.

The survey should only take you around 10 minutes to complete, according to the website, but your institution may choose to include some extra questions on top of the core NSS questions. You do not have to answer these if you do not want to.

What is the point in filling out the survey?

The aim of the survey is to inform prospective students about various different universities and courses so they can choose where to study. It also aims to provide information to “enhance” the student experience, as universities use the results to help improve their courses, teaching, and learning experiences.

Who runs the survey?

The NSS is run by Ipsos MORI and commissioned by the Office for Students.

Data from the NSS is published on the website, and prospective students can use Discover Uni to compare NSS results across different university courses “to help them make informed choices about where and what to study.”

However, anonymised open comments are not published, and will only be seen by your university or college.

How do I fill out the NSS?

If you are able to fill out the NSS, Ipsos will contact you via email to invite you to take part. The email will include a link to the survey which will take you to the survey where you will need to verify your personal information to check your eligibility.

The NSS website states that once the survey has been completed “you will not be contacted again or receive any further reminders from Ipsos regarding the NSS.”

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Ella Kipling is an Entertainment and News Writer at GRV Media. She regularly writes a mixture of news and features for HITC and has been part of the team since 2020. After graduating from the University of Birmingham with a BA (Hons) in English Literature, Ella is currently studying for an MA in Magazine Journalism at City University. She has a keen interest in current affairs and can usually be found reading the news, with her nose in a book (and updating her Goodreads), talking about women’s rights, or listening to Showtunes.