National Student Survey (NSS)

Academic Support contact for initial enquiries - Rob Traynor (r.traynor@ucl.ac.uk)

The National Student Survey, in which all UK final year undergraduate students are invited to participate, has been run annually since 2005. Universities are required to take part in the Survey as part of the Teaching Quality Information arrangements with the Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE). The NSS is managed on behalf of HEFCE by Ipsos MORI, an independent survey research agency, which runs the NSS during the second term each year. Students are asked to complete the NSS questionnaire on-line and may be contacted by telephone and by post.

NSS data are received and considered by Academic Board and Academic Committee. The Joint Staff Student Committee (JSSC) and the Student Experience Forum also receive the overall data, alongside other sources of student feedback. The NSS is a UCL institutional priority and the data are also reported annually to UCL Council.

Officers from Academic Services and the Office of the Vice-Provost (Education) are the main UCL contacts for the NSS and co-ordinate the arrangements for the survey. This includes responsibility for:

  • Co-ordination of the student data required by HEFCE for the NSS (with data supplied by Student Data Services, UCL Student and Registry Services);
  • Distribution of publicity to UCL academic departments and units, Corporate Support Services and UCL Union as appropriate;
  • Co-ordination of the NSS Liaison Officers (NSSLO) network which promotes the survey within UCL academic departments and units;
  • Monitoring of the response rates in order to inform NSSLOs, departments and academic units of progress;
  • Analysis of the NSS results data and production of the departmental reports;
  • Co-ordination of departmental action plans and dissemination of good practice.

NSS results form part of HEFCE’s Key Information Set (KIS), alongside programme data, information on employment destinations and average accommodation and fees. This information appears in university prospectus pages, as well as the Unistats website.

For more information, please see “How the NSS works”.

The NSS results* at institutional and faculty-level, can be found using the links below and are available to UCL staff and students. Please note that prior to 2013, results were reported via faculty digests:

In 2013 the Vice-Provost (Education)’s office has distributed the NSS data to each department and other relevant academic units. Each department is required to provide an action plan outlining how it intends to address its results. Those departments with Overall Satisfaction within the lowest quartile for their subject areas are required to meet the Vice-Provost (Education) to discuss their scores and plans for improvement.

*HEFCE has released this data and the student comments on the understanding that they are being made available solely for internal purposes, such as to inform quality management and enhancement and that institutions will not actively disseminate the additional data to third parties, for example in publicity or marketing materials.