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Dear Vice-Chancellor or Principal

2016 National Student Survey: Publication of data

1. This letter provides information on the next steps in the 2016 National Student Survey (NSS) process, including a timetable for when institutions will be able to access their results via the NSS results dissemination site and Unistats websites. No action is required in response.

2. I would like to take this opportunity to thank all participating institutions for their commitment and contribution to the 2016 NSS.

3. As in previous years, a separate circular letter 'Unistats and the Key Information Set: Data collection timetable and changes for 2016' will be sent; this is due to be published in late April.

2016 Publication of the 2016 NSS results on the dissemination website

4. On 29 July, Texuna Technologies Ltd will launch stage 1 of the NSS results release. Stage 1 will present institutions’ own detailed NSS data and can only be viewed by the institution concerned. The agreed NSS contact at each institution will be sent further details of how to access the data closer to the time. Institutions are responsible for ensuring that they keep their contact details up to date at the NSS results website (

5. On 5 August, stage 2 of the NSS results will be released.  This will include:

  • a preview of HEFCE’s provisional 2016 NSS institutional benchmark data
  • all institutions’ public data reports and custom analysis, at the higher publication threshold of 10 responses and 50 per cent.

6. On 24 August, stage 3 of the NSS results will be released.  This will include institutions’ detailed students’ comments for 2016.

7. All NSS data is subject to strict embargo until 10 August.

8. To view further information about the NSS 2016 results publication, including proposed changes and feedback surveys, please visit

Publication of the 2016 NSS results on the HEFCE website

9. HEFCE will publish the 2016 NSS results on 10 August. The information will include sector summary data as well as complete subject-level data for all institutions with publishable data.

Publication of the 2016 NSS results on the Unistats website

10. In August 2016, Unistats will undergo its annual update to display course data for the following academic year. As part of this, 2016 NSS data which meets the publication threshold of 10 respondents and 50 per cent will be displayed on the Unistats website together with the updated Key Information Set (KIS) data. As stated in paragraph 3 above, this information is due to be published by the end of April.

11. The data on the Unistats website will be available for public access from 31 August 2016.

12. As part of the KIS submission process, from mid-July institutions will be able to access a report showing the Unistats data to be published for all of the courses for which they have submitted a KIS record. This will include the NSS public results, which are under embargo until 10 August.

Further information

13. If you have any queries regarding the NSS results site 2016, please contact Texunatech (email For KIS queries, directly funded higher education institutions and participating private providers should contact the Higher Education Statistics Agency (email, tel 01242 211144) and directly funded further education colleges should contact HEFCE (email 

Summary timetable

Note: All NSS data is subject to strict embargo until 10August.


2016 NSS results

29 July

Stage 1

NSS data available on the Texunatech NSS results site:

  • institutions’ own data (at the publication threshold of 50 per cent response rate and 10 responses), at overall institution level and Joint Academic Coding System subject levels
  • institutions’ own detailed data at the lower publication threshold of 10 responses (for internal use)
  • custom analysis functionality will also be available.

5 August

Stage 2

NSS data available on the Texunatech NSS results site:

  • 2016 HEFCE NSS benchmark data across institutions
  • all institutions’ public datasets at the higher threshold
  • custom analysis functionality will also be available.

10 August

HEFCE website to publish 2016 NSS results.

24 August

Stage 3

Texunatech to make institutions’ own students’ open comments available to them by this date.

31 August

Update of Unistats with 2016 dataset.

NSS review: changes for 2017

14. You may also be aware that the funders of the NSS have been undertaking a review of the provision of information, which covers the NSS. In autumn 2015, the funding bodies held a consultation relating to the review and they will be publishing the full outcomes of the consultation in May 2016 on the HEFCE website.  Further development work is underway to inform a new NSS in 2017 and final details of NSS 2017 will be announced by August 2016.

15. The review does not affect the NSS 2016 which is unchanged from previous years

16. Should you have any queries about the content of this letter please contact Kate Hamilton-Border, tel 0117 9317253, email

Yours sincerely

Chris Millward

Director (Policy)


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Date: 13 April 2016

Ref: Circular letter 05/2016

To: Heads of HEFCE-funded further education colleges, Heads of HEFCE-funded higher education institutions, Heads of universities in Northern Ireland
Heads of selected Scottish higher education institutions Heads of other higher education providers participating in the NSS

Of interest to those
responsible for:

The National Student Survey, Quality assessment and learning and teaching development, Planning, The student experience

Enquiries should be directed to:

Kate Hamilton-Border, tel 0117 9317253, email