The NSS should reflect what you think about your course. It’s important that your university or college doesn’t do anything that could influence your response.
We call this ‘inappropriate influence’.
Inappropriate influence is ‘any activity which may encourage students to reflect anything other than their true opinion of their experiences during their course in their NSS responses’.
Your university or college can promote the NSS to make sure that as many students as possible take part. But they must follow strict guidelines to ensure they do not influence the results.
Examples of inappropriate influence
Your university or college should not:
- tell you how to respond to the survey
- combine the NSS with any other surveys
- link the NSS to league tables
- tell you that negative responses to the NSS could make your degree look bad to future employers
- tell you what the survey questions or response options mean - you should interpret them in your own way
- make entering a prize draw conditional on completing the NSS
- tell you that the survey is compulsory or pressure you to attend NSS completion sessions
- do the survey with you - you should be given privacy to respond honestly.
Inappropriate influence can happen through:
- face-to-face sessions and lectures
- posters, materials and activities
- student-to-student communications
- communications from student organisations, such as your students’ union.
Whatever the form, anyone deliberately trying to encourage students to respond to the survey in a way that does not reflect their own opinion is deemed as inappropriate influence.
What should I do if I have a concern?
If you think that your university or college is inappropriately influencing students’ responses to the NSS, email [email protected].
Concerns may be raised at any time, but it’s helpful if they are brought to our attention as early as possible.
All concerns will be considered by the UK funding and regulatory bodies. If there is sufficient information concerns will be investigated using our allegations procedure.
Please read our allegations privacy notice for details of how we will use your personal information if you make an allegation of inappropriate influence.
What could the consequences be for my university or college?
If an investigation found that there had been inappropriate influence, whether intentional or unintentional, we may not be able to publish NSS results for the affected courses at the university or college that year.