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The National Student Survey

24 Jan 2018

2018 survey launches on Monday, 29 January


The University’s campaign to encourage students to complete the National Student Survey (NSS) 2017 launches next week (Monday, 29 January) and we need support from all staff to make sure we increase our response rates. 

The survey, which is open to the majority of final year undergraduates, is one of the most important ways we gather feedback from students about their experience of studying and living in Manchester.

All students who are eligible to take part in the NSS will receive an email from Ipsos MORI, who are running the survey on behalf of HEFCE, during the week of the 29th. However, students do not have to wait for the email as they can complete it anytime by visiting National Student Survey 2018.

The results are used internally to inform improvements to the student experience and externally to compile University league tables and inform future students' choice of university/course through the UniStats website.

However, results can only be published and used if we reach 50% response rate. As we move towards the Subject TEF in 2020 it is increasingly important that we achieve the necessary 50% response rate across all subjects as well as for the University as a whole.

How you can help to promote the NSS to students

As well as communication from Ipsos-Mori, there will be messages from Student Communications and Marketing to encourage students to complete the survey. However, we know that students respond particularly well to messages from people they know and communicate with on a regular basis. So if you tutor, lecture or support students you really can help boost response rates.

Information, advice and promotional materials for school use can be found on the Student Experience Survey on StaffNet.

Here, you will also find clear guidance about how to avoid inappropriate influence.

Key messages to share with students about NSS:

  • The NSS provides an anonymised opportunity for students to give feedback, generating an overall picture of the student experience at Manchester as a whole and by programme.
  • The University values the NSS feedback as it enables us to reflect on our strengths and weaknesses and take positive action where required.
  • Senior leaders use the NSS data to take positive action at all levels of the University. The President and Vice-Chancellor and other senior staff use it in Annual Performance Reviews as a Key Performance Indicator for School performance. Vice–Deans for Teaching, Learning and Students rely on it to continuously monitor the quality of the student experience.
  • NSS data are used to hold key University colleagues accountable for their work to improve the student experience.
  • Our NSS data are publicly available, via UNISTATS and allow prospective students to make informed choices, comparing student satisfaction between their top choices of university.
  • If we don't meet the thresholds for response rates the data will not be publicly available. This means prospective students will not benefit from our current students’ views and opinions.
  •  In 2017, 68% final year students filled in the NSS nationally. There is no other way that students, as a collective voice, can influence the current delivery and future of UK higher education.

University Incentives

This year, to encourage students to complete the survey, the University is offering two incentives to students completing the NSS 2018:

  • A prize draw for Amazon vouchers.  There will be 10 prizes of £400 of Amazon vouchers. 
  • For each response submitted, the University will also make a £1 donation to charity

Information about these can be used in all communications about the survey.