National Student Survey (NSS) 2023

An email issued to all staff on 7 February from Professor Jeff Grabill, Deputy Vice-Chancellor: Student Education.

Dear colleague,

This year’s National Student Survey (NSS) launched at Leeds yesterday (6 February) and will remain open for eligible undergraduate students until 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).

As with previous years, providers in England are no longer required to promote the NSS to their students. However, they can choose to do so if they wish. I’m writing to ask you to continue to encourage completion of the survey to all your eligible students. We’ve decided to continue promoting the survey locally for a number of reasons:

  • It’s in keeping with the core values of the Leeds 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 the full range of student views are represented. Although Ipsos MORI, an independent research company, can communicate with non-responsive students, we’re 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’s important that as many students as possible provide their feedback for the survey to generate reliable information.

We know this is another difficult year for all, but we want students to assess their experience honestly. I’ve written to students encouraging them to respond, 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 on 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. 

Ipsos Mori is responsible for the running of the NSS and it will contact eligible students via email and telephone. 

Please be aware that this year, resulting from the work of phase two of the NSS consultation, the Office for Students (OfS) and the UK higher education funding and regulatory bodies have agreed changes to the core questionnaire and response scales for NSS 2023. This is a complete overhaul of the NSS question set and scales, so no comparisons to previous data will be possible. Results will be available in August.

The NSS is a particularly important source of understanding about students’ views of their experience at Leeds. So, I’d be very grateful if you could actively encourage eligible students to participate.

Please contact Stephanie Gow for further information. 

Many thanks in advance for your support.

Professor Jeff Grabill
Deputy Vice-Chancellor: Student Education

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