February 25, 2013, by Shane


I’m here to talk to you today about the National Student Survey (NSS)! Not as exciting as the headline made out hey? But wait! Before you click on that cross and close this blog, let me tell you why filling in this survey is a grand idea that will generate you some first class karma points for your selfless act.

What is it? Its an independent woman I mean survey, that asks mostly final year undergraduate students to rate the quality of their time at University. The annual survey is completely independent of all higher education institutions and you fill it in anonymously; so you can be as cruel or as kind as you like. The survey is  run by an independent company called Ipsos MORI who keep all your honest answers top secret and ensure your institution cannot influence the results in anyway.

Why should you bother? Two main reasons. Firstly, the survey is a valuable resource for prospective students, their families and advisors to make informed decisions about which higher education institution to attend. As the data generated is based on current undergraduates’ satisfaction with their learning experience, the idea is that the results are the most up-to-date reflection of a learning institution’s strengths and weaknesses.

Secondly, the higher education institutions and students’ unions which are rated in the survey can then use the results, which are published on UNISTATS, to improve the aspects of student’s learning experiences that don’t fair so well in student opinion. Aka, improving the University you hold so dear to your hearts for the future YOUS! Talk about a good deed! And for the politically conscious ones of you out there, the survey gives you a voice to express your views on all things related to your learning experience.
The Nitty Gritty bits?
  • If 50% of students on your particular course do not complete the survey, the results for that course cannot be published (sad times for students)
  • The survey opened on the 28th of January this year and will close at the end of April.
  • The great news? It only takes 5 minutes and can be completed online
  • Disclaimer: if you do not complete it online, it will be posted to you and after that you’ll receive a phone call to complete it (they sure are persistent!)
How has the survey benefitted the University of Nottingham specifically?
  • The Uni has increased contact time and sped up the turnaround on exam feedback
  • They’ve also extended library opening times during exam periods (so you can study every minute of everyday … brilliant)
  • University Park has seen a £90 million redevelopment including the Maths and Humanities Buildings
So when you see the NSS banner on Moodle or around campus, the University of Nottingham is not encouraging you to complete the survey to make them look good; they are publicising it for the benefit of future students to improve their learning experiences.
Remember the survey is anonymous, so you can be as honest as you like.
Think of the prospective freshers this spring time! Perhaps the karma gods will reward you 🙂


Posted in 2012 Shane