Arts SU Response to NSS Consultation

The Arts SU Policy and Sabbatical Officer teams have responded to a government consultation on proposed changes to the National Student Survey (NSS).



This month, the Arts SU Policy Team and myself responded to a government consultation on proposed changes to the National Student Survey (NSS). The NSS is a 27-question survey that all final year undergraduates complete, rating their satisfaction with their university experience, asking about topics such as teaching, facilities, assessment, and student community.

Read the full response here.

The proposed changes will have a significant impact on how universities are judged based on student opinion, as well as how the NSS is used as a metric in the Teaching Excellence Framework (TEF) evaluation that UAL will undergo. 

Several of the proposed changes include:

  • Moving away from statements and towards direct questions (for example “Staff have made the subject interesting” might become “How often do teaching staff make the subject engaging?”). 
  • Removing the summative question at the end of the survey, asking students to respond to the statement "Overall, I am satisfied with the quality of the course"
  • Inclusion of a "freedom of expression" question - which we view as part of the government's culture war around free speech on campus.
  • Inclusion of a question around mental wellbeing, for example "How well communicated was information about your university or college’s mental wellbeing support services?"
  • A commitment to review the NSS every four years, as opposed to the ad hoc reviews that have been conducted in the past.
  • Changes to the overall structure of the survey design, including different types of scale, as opposed to the current 5-point Likert scale ('strong agree' to 'strongly disagree')

We have responded to this consultation with the aim to represent what we view as in the best interest of arts students.

We hope that our response to the consultation is taken into consideration and we will continue to keep you updated on the situation.

Sophia Nasif - London College of Communication Officer


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