Official statistics

National Student Survey data: quality report

NSS quality report

To assure the quality and reliability of the 2023 NSS publication we have produced a quality report.

The report reviewed the data, survey approach and analysis process with regard to five dimensions:

  • relevance
  • accuracy and reliability
  • timeliness and punctuality
  • coherence and comparability
  • accessibility and clarity.

This quality report sets out the key findings from considering these dimensions and publishes the accompanying charts which informed these outcomes.

Key findings

The report finds no serious concerns about the quality of the statistics. The key points noted in the quality report are:

  • Due to the changes in the questions and response options, the 2023 NSS results cannot be straightforwardly compared with those from earlier years. In particular, the removal of the “neutral” response option in 2023 means that we would expect more students to respond positively in 2023, regardless of any change in the student experience.  
  • Students have engaged with the new questionnaire. Response rates remain high, and in-survey drop-out rates low. Students have used the full-range of response options, and rarely report that a question does not apply to them.
  • Because it is useful to providers, students and the general public, we publish NSS results based on very small populations (as low as 10 students). There is a high degree of statistical uncertainty around some of these results, and they should always be viewed together with the uncertainty measures included in the data dashboard.   

The quality report notes an exceptional issues related to Glasgow Caledonian University. Due to a survey administration error in NSS 2023, question 28 ('overall satisfaction') was not asked of the majority of survey respondents from Glasgow Caledonian University. We have therefore replaced the Glasgow Caledonian results for question 28 with the Scottish sector average. We have not published question 28 results for subject-level Glasgow Caledonian populations for NSS 2023. The most recent data for this provider can be found in the NSS 2022 results under question 27 (which was the number of the 'overall satisfaction' question in the 2022 survey). The error was not the fault of the provider and does not reflect on the quality of the provider. No other providers or questions were affected by this error.

Published 10 August 2023
Last updated 15 August 2023
15 August 2023
Minor correction to paragraph 17 of the Quality report

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