National Student Survey 2017 launches at Stirling

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The National Student Survey (NSS) goes live for Stirling students today and will run until Sunday, April 30.

The NSS is aimed primarily at final-year undergraduate students at all UK universities.

Each year, nearly half a million students complete the survey and provide feedback on their time and their studies at university.

The survey asks students to respond to 27 single questions relating to eight different aspects of their university experience.

They are also given the opportunity to make additional comments.

The NSS results are made publicly available through the Unistats website used by prospective students deciding which courses to apply for and which institutions to apply to.

They also provide part of the backbone for several major university league tables, including The Times & Sunday Times Good University Guide and The Guardian University Guide.

The NSS is undertaken by market research company Ipsos MORI, who use the institutional responses to create an overall satisfaction score for each university.

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Last year, the University of Stirling achieved an overall score of 89% – three percent higher than the previous year and three percent higher than both the Scottish and UK sector averages of 86%.

The 2016 results placed Stirling top in Scotland for Sociology, Media Studies, Journalism, and English Studies and joint-first for Finance.

The University also achieved an overall 100% satisfaction rate for Mathematics and Statistics, and Social Policy, placing them joint-first in the UK.

Professor Tim Whalley, Dean of Student Affairs, said, “The NSS results help us to gain a better understanding of our students’ experiences, and to assist us in identifying areas for improvement.

“We listened to previous responses which revealed that sometimes it could take a while to receive feedback. To address this, we introduced a new feedback policy.

“Our new policy ensures our students receive formal feedback on their assessments within a three-week timeframe. This change could be, in part, why we received a three percent positive increase in the Assessment and Feedback category in last year’s results.”

Following the NSS results and feedback, the university has also increased the number of eBooks available through the library catalogue, introduced a new flexible social space, with the opening of Venue, and installed Box as a means for students to work more flexibly.

The university is encouraging all final-year undergraduates to have their say and to use the survey to highlight what they liked and didn’t like during their time at Stirling.

Besides helping shape future students’ university experiences, there are a few more incentives for Stirling students who complete the NSS.

All respondents will be entered in to a draw to win one of ten £30 Amazon vouchers – which can be exchanged for cash.

The university will also make a donation to a charity selected by Stirling students through the Students’ Union – up to a maximum of £500 – should they meet the target response rate of 70%.

The survey can be completed through the NSS website.

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