The 2021 National Student Survey (NSS) – A message from Professor Peter Jimack
Professor Peter Jimack, Interim Deputy Vice-Chancellor: Student Education, has written to all colleagues today (Monday 8 February) about the National Student Survey going live.
This year’s National Student Survey (NSS) launches at Leeds today and will remain open for eligible undergraduate students (normally finalists) until Friday 30 April.
The NSS is an annual student experience survey of undergraduates, normally in their final year, and has been conducted since 2005. The NSS runs across all publicly-funded Higher Education Institutions in England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland. Its aim is to gather feedback from students on the quality of their educational experience. This feedback has previously been used internally, as part of our ongoing review of our provision, and externally to help inform the choices of future applicants to higher education (see the Discover Uni website).
You may be aware that, this year, providers in England are no longer required to promote the NSS to their students. However, they can choose to do so if they wish. Providers in Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales are still required to promote the survey to their students. I am writing to ask you to continue to encourage completion of the NSS to all your eligible students. We have decided to continue promoting the survey locally for a number of reasons:
- We have always worked hard to promote the survey strongly to our students, since it is in keeping with the core values of the Partnership and our commitment to listen to, and reflect upon, student views. This is more important than ever in these challenging times.
- Promotion of the NSS at a localised level is a key factor in achieving good response rates, which are important to ensure that the full range of student views are represented. Although Ipsos MORI – an independent research company responsible for the running of the NSS – can communicate with non-responsive students, we are in a better position locally to raise awareness of the survey and encourage participation.
- Better response rates are also important for any data analysis done internally; in order to receive the data at a granular level, we need to meet data thresholds. It is important that as many students as possible provide their feedback for the survey to generate reliable information.
We know this is an unusual and difficult year for all, but we want students to assess their experience honestly and I have written to students encouraging them to respond and explaining the value of taking the time to add written comments. The Market Research and Insight Team will provide further guidance to schools on promoting the survey, including a toolkit of resources and important information about inappropriate influence.
Students can access the survey via the NSS website and are offered entry into a prize draw for their participation. The survey should take no longer than 10 minutes to complete. Students can also access the survey through Minerva.
Ipsos MORI will contact eligible students via email and telephone.
The core questionnaire has not undergone any changes since last year. However, this year, the UK funding and regulatory bodies have chosen to include an additional set of questions, to ask students about specific aspects of their experience during the pandemic. Students can choose whether to answer these questions and submit their feedback on this topic after they have completed the core questionnaire. Results will be available in August.
The NSS is a particularly important source of understanding about students’ views of their experience here. So, I’d be very grateful if you could actively encourage eligible students to participate.
Please contact Stephanie Gow for further information about the NSS.
Many thanks in advance for your support.
Professor Peter Jimack
Interim Deputy Vice-Chancellor: Student EducationPosted in: University newsStudent educationAll Staff Email