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Exeter seeks success in National Student Survey

Image credit: Nik Rahmel

This January sees the return of the National Student Survey (NSS) for 2014. First launched in 2005, the NSS gives independent, year-on-year data regarding hundreds of Higher Education Institutions and courses across the UK.

It aims to gather information from final year undergraduates on the quality of their courses to help both current and prospective students make informed decisions of where and what to study.

It gives students the chance to have their say on a range of academic affairs of their university, such as assessment, feedback, learning resources and personal development, and it is designed to improve the quality of courses across the UK.

The NSS is a nationally recognised survey, undertaken by the independent body Ipsos MORI, and published on the website Unistats. The survey asks students to respond to statements using a five star scale ranging from ‘definitely disagree’ to ‘definitely agree’. Last year’s survey was taken by around 304,000 final-year students.

The University of Exeter has had a very positive relationship with the NSS. Last year it scored 91 per cent in overall satisfaction and came in seventh place. The university has also actively taken on the feedback provided regarding where improvements can be made. After the 2012 NSS results, the University of Exeter implemented changes such as increasing staff to student ratio, the development of the Forum and Exchange buildings as well as continual investments into teaching and learning spaces. Vice Chancellor Professor Sir Steve Smith also personally read each of the 4,260 pieces of written feedback to ensure action was taken.

David Miller, Head of Marketing at the University of Exeter and co-ordinator of NSS promotion this year, commented: “The University takes student feedback on the NSS very seriously. Thanks to the students, Guild and staff working together to make the student experience as good as it can be, we have been in the NSS Top 10 every year since its inception. We are determined to stay there by continuing to listen and to invest”.

Alex Louch, VP Academic Affairs, commented: “The NSS is a crucial barometer for student opinion and I strongly advise all final year students to fill in the survey and to have a say on their university experience. The university and Students’ Guild have worked throughout this year to make significant changes based on feedback from the NSS, such as the addition of 164 study spaces to the Forum library and power provision to the spaces. The NSS is crucial for gathering student opinion and I encourage students to take part and influence change”.

The NSS gives students a unique opportunity to anonymously speak up and make a positive impact towards the quality of UK higher education. For your chance to get involved and have your say, head to www.thestudentsurvey.com.

Oliva Bateman, News Team

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