From 2014 to 2016, there was a review of information on higher education, for which we published two major pieces of research:
Development of the latest survey
In 2015, we undertook testing to inform a new survey including initial cognitive testing of potential student engagement questions, and a national pilot in 2015.
In August 2016, the outcomes of a new survey consultation were published. Following this, to help inform the new survey questions, we undertook further cognitive testing and another pilot in 2016.
In 2017, a new National Student Survey was introduced including nine new questions on student engagement and updated questions on assessment and feedback and learning resources.
Arrangements for the new National Student Survey were announced in September 2016.
Updating optional banks
In addition to the main survey, providers are also able to choose from a list of optional banks. In 2016, new optional bank questions were tested and for the 2018 survey, existing banks were supplemented with new banks of questions.
Further testing was undertaken in 2017 to explore students’ understanding of the optional bank questions. We intend to work with students and providers to determine whether more fundamental changes to the optional bank are needed.
Evaluating the updated survey
In early 2017, NSS 2017 was evaluated to see how the new survey had worked in practice and to establish if there were any issues. See the report detailing findings from the student and institutional online surveys.
Further development of the survey
As part of the NSS 2020, we are running the first stage of a pilot looking at the feasibility of expanding the NSS to students on 1-year (full-time equivalent) courses - these students have previously been excluded from the survey population.
This forms part of a wider programme of exploratory work designed to assess the feasibility of including students across all years of study in the survey.
More information and guidance on the delivery of this pilot will be sent directly to eligible providers.