UCL News


The National Student Survey: how you can help

6 February 2014

The 2014 National Student Survey (NSS) is now well under way at UCL.

National Student Survey logo The survey is an important priority for us and we are aiming to increase UCL's participation level well beyond that of last year's 62%. Our target this year is 72%.

Increasing the student response rate will provide all of us with much more representative data to enable us to be confident that we are addressing their true concerns, both at institutional and departmental level.

Evidence shows that students respond much more favourably to requests to complete the survey from people who they know, such as their lecturers, Heads of Department and administrators, as well as their fellow students. NSS Liaison Officers, based within departments, have been provided with 'Toolkits' to assist them with promotion of the survey. Additionally, staff are encouraged to highlight the NSS to eligible students wherever possible. Multiple emails should be avoided, as these can have a negative effect. However, other methods to consider are:

  • Publicising the survey in lectures and seminars;
  • Enlisting your Student Academic Representatives (StARs) to promote the survey;
  • Organising an NSS lunch in an undergraduate common room;
  • Highlighting areas of improvement which have come about as a result of feedback from previous surveys;
  • Holding individual meetings with final year students and the Head of Department (where student numbers allow);
  • Using a 'totaliser' system whereby donations to the student society for end of term activities will be scaled according to the NSS response rate;
  • Highlighting the UCL response rate incentive where every department achieving 72% or more will receive a cash prize to be spent on the students;
  • Booking a cluster for completion and entering the event into the students' timetables.

The NSS is also being promoted via a range of UCL-branded material. This includes a bespoke poster and flyer campaign, links to the NSS on Moodle and the UCL homepage, and the 'wallpaper' on all cluster PCs.

Further information on the NSS at UCL can be found at http://www.ucl.ac.uk/srs/governance-and-committees/qme/qmea-z/nss and the survey itself is at http://www.thestudentsurvey.com/

Anthony Smith, Vice-Provost (Education and International)