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Top UK Universities Missing from National Student Survey as Satisfaction Levels Fall

Top UK Universities Missing from National Student Survey as Satisfaction Levels Fall main image

The results of this year’s National Student Survey in the UK have been released, with several Russell Group universities missing after they declined to take part.

Boycotts of the survey at Cambridge, Oxford, Bristol, Manchester, Sheffield and UCL were organized as part of a nationwide protest against government plans to use the NSS results to raise tuition fees.

The NSS is issued annually to final-year undergraduates and is typically used to provide feedback to universities on the quality of its teaching. However, under the new Teaching Excellence Framework, universities with satisfied students could increase the amount they charge students for tuition.

12,000 fewer students took part in this year’s survey, despite efforts to expand its reach to a larger number of higher education providers. According to the Independent, one-third of students failed to take the survey.

Of those who did take the survey, 84% of final-year students said they were satisfied with the quality of their education, a drop of 2% from the last three years.

Amatey Doku, the vice president for higher education in the National Union for Students, said: “The Government wanted to use today’s NSS results to allow universities which scored highly to raise fees from £9,000 to over £10,000 by 2020 as part of their draconian reforms to higher education.

“Our membership made it clear to us that they found this unacceptable and demanded we campaign to sever any link between their crude Teaching Excellence Framework (TEF) and a rise in tuition fees which would hit students hard. 

“Figures released today demonstrate just how easily this data can be skewed and how unreliable they are as a measure of teaching quality within this framework. This serves as a reminder that students are opposed to soaring tuition fees and are ready to use their power to challenge any ill-thought changes to the sector which will ultimately see them losing out.

“We will continue to call for the link between fees and surveys like the NSS [to be broken] and engaging students’ unions across the country to do the same.”

Lead image: jisc.ac.uk

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Written by Craig OCallaghan
As Head of Content, Craig is responsible for all articles and guides published across TopUniversities and TopMBA. He has nearly 10 years of experience writing for a student audience and extensive knowledge of universities and study programs around the world.

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