UCL News


National Student Survey 2016: how you can help

13 January 2016

The 2016 National Student Survey (NSS) launched at UCL this week, and every final year undergraduate has been emailed with an invitation to take the survey.

NSS 2016 The NSS is a high priority for us as it helps us to make changes for future students, as well as informing applicants about UCL and affecting our position in national league tables.

Our target student response rate this year is 75%. The format will be the same as in previous years, with 21 questions being asked about students' academic experience and one question about their overall satisfaction. Any departments achieving the 75% target will receive a cash reward to spend on the students, with the amount dependent on the size of the cohort.

What you can do

Evidence shows that students tend to respond 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. Students have consented to being contacted both by email and by phone. Please encourage your students to complete the survey online soon to avoid getting too many phone calls.

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 or event in an undergraduate common room (providing food is often an incentive!)
  • Highlighting areas of improvement in your department 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 75% 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 poster and flyer campaign, links to the NSS on Moodle and the UCL homepage, and the 'wallpaper' on all cluster PCs. Any department which achieves more than 80% participation, and greater than 90% overall satisfaction will receive a Provost's commendation and an invitation to a celebratory reception.

Further information on the NSS, as well as the survey itself, can be found at http://www.thestudentsurvey.com/

Student Engagement Team, Office of the Vice-Provost (Education and Student Affairs)