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Dear Vice-Chancellor or Principal

1.   This letter provides information to institutions on the next steps in the 2011 National Student Survey (NSS) process, including a timetable of when they will be able to access their 2011 NSS results via the Ipsos MORI NSS results site and Unistats web-site. This year institutions will be able to preview their own results on both web-sites in August.

2.   I would like to take this opportunity to thank you for your hard work on the 2011 NSS. Ipsos MORI conducted 267,000 interviews from a sample size of over 406,000 students, the largest number of students ever to take part in the survey. This represents an overall response rate for NSS 2011 of 66 per cent, the highest response rate the NSS has achieved in its seven years.

Publication of the 2011 results: Planned schedule of activity

3.   On 3 August institutions will be able to preview their own results on both the Ipsos MORI NSS results site and on the Unistats web-site. The agreed NSS and Unistats contacts at institutions will be sent further details closer to the time about how to access the data.

4.   On 10 August there will be a preview period on the Unistats web-site where institutions will have access to all institutions' data. On the same date, Ipsos MORI will launch Phase 1 of the NSS results site which presents highly detailed NSS data to institutions with access to students' comments. All pre-calculated data tables will be available at institution, subject and sector level. Sector-wide comparisons will also be available during Phase 1.

5.   At midday on 17 August, the Unistats web-site will be available for public access and HEFCE will release a press statement.

6.   On 30 August Ipsos MORI will launch Phase 2 (custom analysis) of the results site. The custom analysis function gives each institution the freedom to analyse tailored results for specific cohorts of their own students, as well as publicly available data for all participating institutions.

7.   If you have any queries regarding the Ipsos MORI results site, please contact the Ipsos MORI team (tel 020 8861 8110, e-mail If you have any queries regarding the Unistats web-site, please contact the Unistats helpdesk (tel 01242 544682, e-mail

Summary timetable

 NSS results siteUnistats site
3 August Institutions' own preview data on NSS results site and Unistats
10 August Phase 1 NSS data available Preview data of all institutions' data
17 August   Unistats available to the public
30 August NSS Phase 2 data available  

Yours sincerely

Sir Alan Langlands
Chief Executive

Date: 2 June 2011

Ref: Circular letter 15/2011

To: Heads of HEFCE-funded higher education institutions, Heads of HEFCE-funded further education colleges, Heads of universities in Northern Ireland
<br /> Heads of selected Scottish higher education institutions

Of interest to those
responsible for:

The National Student Survey; Quality assurance and quality enhancement; The student experience; Planning

Enquiries should be directed to:

Katie Germer, tel 0117 931 7486, e-mail, or
Alison Felton, tel 0117 931 7078, e-mail