RSS statement on review of National Student Survey

The Royal Statistical Society has issued a statement, welcoming the Government’s decision to review the National Student Survey.

The Royal Statistical Society welcomes the Government’s decision to review the way the National Student Survey is conducted and used. We welcome too the goal of looking at how to maintain ‘high standards while providing reliable data on student perspectives’. The RSS has argued for some time that NSS satisfaction scores are not a reliable way of promoting these goals. We welcome the Government’s recognition of this shortcoming in their announcement.

A key element in improving the system will be considering what any successor measure – or probably better, measures – are to be used for. We hope that will be the starting point for the review. Issues of quality in universities, including in university teaching, are inherently made up of many dimensions, each of which requires careful consideration and without any obvious means of combining these into a summary league table. We very much hope that the OFS Review of the NSS will start from these fundamental questions.
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