Everything you're wondering about the National Student Survey

Q. Do I have to fill out the National Student Survey (NSS)?

No. The NSS is entirely voluntary and you cannot be forced to fill it out. If you feel that Ipsos Mori are being aggressive with their attempts to contact you to fill out the survey you can request that they stop contacting you and remove your data from their contact list when they call, or on this page, by scrolling down to the 'What if I don't want to complete the NSS?' question and clicking the opt-out part.

If tutors and lecturers in your department have told you that this survey is mandatory they are not telling the truth. It is up to you how you react to this, but just make sure your coursemates know that they don’t have to fill out the NSS. Not filling it out will have no impact on you or your degree classification.


Q. I filled out the NSS before finding out about the #NSSBoycott. What can I do?

If you’ve filled out the survey but have decided retrospectively that you don’t want your answers to be used or that you’d like to participate in the #NSSBoycott you can contact Ipsos Mori and ask them to delete the data. To do this email thestudentsurvey@ipsos.com.


Q. Doesn’t the NSS feed into league tables? Will this impact Goldsmiths’ position?

Only one question feeds into the league tables and that is the question on student satisfaction and the rest of the data comes from data from HESA - the Higher Education Statistics Agency. For more information please see the Complete University Guide’s methodology behind collating the league tables.

According to the 2016/17 Joiners’ Survey carried out by the University, only 17 percent of students made their decision to come to Goldsmiths based on league tables. 24 percent based their decision on reputation, and over 50 percent of students based their decision on actual course content.


Q. I've been told the NSS is the only opportunity I have to give honest feedback on my course and my university experience. What other options do I have?

The NSS is open from January to April for undergraduate finalists only. Throughout the academic year there are lots of alternative opportunities for students at any stage of their undergraduate or postgraduate degree to submit their feedback.

You can give feedback through the SU. We run the Departmental Student Coordinator (DSC) and the Departmental Disabled Student Coordinator (DDSC) programmes, which are designed to give the student voice more power and influence.
They write Annual Reports that are delivered straight to Senior Management. These are informed by a combination of surveys and interviews, so if you want your voice to be heard you can fill out the Accessibility and Experience Survey or you could reach out to your DSC/DDSC and give them some feedback face to face.
You should also have course representatives who are invited to attend departmental Student Staff Forums and will have opportunities to give student feedback straight to the head of your course.

As well as all of those options, you could just email any of the Full Time Officers, who are elected to represent you.
We sit on many different college committees that make big decisions about everything from how much the Warden should be paid, to what new modules will be given the go-ahead, to how to encourage more students to use reusable cups. We are elected to get the student voice heard.

At the end of all your modules, your department will provide you with a module evaluation form.
This is a great opportunity to give really specific feedback about your department and your tutors and what they do well and should keep doing (or what they should REALLY stop doing and change.) Use this, because tutors care about the comments on these!

There are also so many surveys and focus groups that the University and the SU want you to fill out and attend. The more you all engage with these opportunities the more evidence the SU and the University will have to bring about actual worthwhile and meaningful change.