Thursday 01-10-2015 - 15:18
The four UK HE funding councils have today published a consultation into proposed changes to the National Student Survey (NSS), as well as the information site Unistats for prospective students, and the provision of information on learning, teaching and the student experience by higher education institutions.
Key proposals for change include the introduction of nine new core questions on student engagement in the NSS, a more tailored site for prospective students to better serve the needs of a diverse range of backgrounds and demographics, and the removal of Question 23 on satisfaction with the students’ union.
On the proposed changes, Sorana Vieru, NUS Vice President (Higher Education) said:
“I have frequently voiced my concerns with the way the National Student Survey is used to further the marketization of higher education.
“The NSS can only show value when the results are used by staff and students in partnership by having honest conversations to enhance learning and teaching practices.
“HEFCE have listened to previous NUS concerns, and to students, by including nine new questions on student engagement: a change of direction with a view to help to further understand and improve students’ education.”
On the removal of Question 23, she added:
“The evidence shows that the students’ union question in its current all-encompassing and vague form is not viable to include within the core NSS, but it’s important to reflect on how students’ unions can and do add immense value to students’ academic lives in a way that is not reductive and does not introduce competition between students’ unions.
“We will work with HEFCE and our member unions to develop a bank of optional questions that encompass the wide-ranging work that students’ unions do for their members and the higher education community.”
Review of the National Student Survey and Unistats