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Over 200 responses were received, and broadly supported the proposed changes to the National Student Survey (NSS) and Unistats. We have amended our plans in light of feedback, notably on the removal of some NSS questions. This publication summarises the responses we received, the decisions we have taken, and our next steps.

These are to:

  • remove detailed information about course delivery from Unistats, and redesign the site to provide greater support for students in making decisions
  • publish good practice guidance for providing information on higher education institutions’ own websites later this year
  • publish details of changes to the Unistats data collection by the end of August 2016
  • update the NSS in 2017 to better support student decision-making, improved learning and teaching, and quality assessment
  • announce final survey questions for the NSS 2017 in September 2016, after completing the piloting and testing of new NSS questions informed by responses to the consultation
  • develop further proposals on qualitative feedback, feedback from students currently excluded from the NSS, and feedback from taught postgraduate students.

Our evidence base and responses to the consultation indicate that we need to make changes now to ensure that Unistats and the NSS remain fit for purpose, but the implementation of these decisions may be affected by subsequent policy developments including the Higher Education White Paper, the development of the Teaching Excellence Framework (TEF) in England, and the UK Higher Education and Research Bill.

We will continue to work closely with the four UK governments on this. We are also taking steps to ensure that changes to the NSS do not hamper the availability of time-series data for future use in the TEF, and that the design of the successor to the Unistats website allows for the publication of TEF outcomes. 

Notes

1. Read the consultation outcomes

2. Read the original consultation

Contacts