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As part of a new framework for assuring the quality and standards of education provided by higher education institutions (HEIs), the Council, the HE sector, Government and student representatives agreed that regular and detailed information about teaching quality should be published, to help inform the choices of prospective students about what and where to study, and to inform the judgements of other stakeholders and contribute to public accountability more generally.

This work led to the decision to proceed with the first full-scale National Student Survey (NSS) in early 2005, and to publish the results in summer 2005, as part of the Unistats web-site (

Ipsos MORI administers the NSS on behalf of HEFCE. Having run the NSS since its creation in 2005, Ipsos MORI was re-awarded the contract in 2007 and will continue running the survey until 2010.

In previous years Ipsos MORI has undertaken the post-survey review of the process as part of its NSS contract. However, HEFCE has decided to seek an independent evaluation of the 2008 survey process in order to identify good practice and make suggestions for improvements to the process for future surveys.

HEFCE commissioned external consultants Alan Brickwood & Associates to carry out this review of the 2008 NSS process.