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During 2014-16, the four UK higher education funding bodies undertook a review of the National Student Survey (NSS) as part of a wider review of information on higher education.

In July 2014 we published two major research contributions to this review:

The research did not recommend radical changes to the survey. It suggested some alterations to preserve its strengths and address identified weaknesses, including new questions on student engagement and examining barriers to the inclusion of some students.

We subsequently undertook further research to inform a new survey including initial cognitive testing with students of potential student engagement questions and a pilot in 2015.

Based on the findings from this research, we consulted on our proposals for the new survey through the wider review of information on higher education in October 2015 and the outcomes of the consultation were published in August 2016.

A final stage of cognitive testing and piloting took place in 2016 and the UK funding bodies published arrangements for a revised National Student Survey, including the list of new questions, via a circular letter in September 2016.

Earlier research

Research has been undertaken throughout the lifetime of the survey. This has guided its development and led to the full review as detailed above.
Links to the full publications can be found below:

Understanding the information needs of users of public information about higher education, Enhancing and Developing the National Student Survey (2010)

National Student Survey 2005-2007: findings and trends (2008)

Review of the 2008 National Student Survey (NSS) process (2008)

For further information, please contact NSS@hefce.ac.uk

Page last updated 9 August 2017