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The National Student Survey 2006


The National Student Survey (NSS) forms part of our revised Quality Assurance Framework (QAF) and surveys final year undergraduates in England, Wales, Northern Ireland and some institutions in Scotland. HEFCE commissioned Paula Surridge at the University of Bristol to conduct research into the second NSS and identify changes between the two years of results.

The report focuses on the student, institutional and course characteristics of the results, as Paula Surridge's research report on the first NSS did. In addition, it identifies changes between the years.

The summary report concludes that the NSS is a remarkably rich resource for understanding students' experiences of their courses, in terms of teaching quality. The 2006 NSS continued to show very high levels of satisfaction with courses and there is remarkable stability between the 2005 and 2006 results.

However, although the 2006 NSS showed that all aspects of teaching quality measured were rated positively by students, not all aspects were rated equally positively.

A foreword from HEFCE Chief Executive, Professor David Eastwood, gives HEFCE's response to the review and next steps.


The National Student Survey 2006 - Summary report

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The National Student Survey 2006 - Full report

Please note that Tables 10a, 10b and 10c were corrected on 13 August.

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Annex A: Interpreting Multi-level Models

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Annex B: Response rate and Method of Response by institution

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Annex C: Response and Method of Response, multi-level models and institutional residuals

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Annex D: Descriptive Findings: Part-time students

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Annex E: Multi-level models of analytical scales and Overall Satisfaction, full-time students

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Annex F: Institutional residuals for analytical scales and Overall Satisfaction, full-time students

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Annex G: Multi-level models and institutional residuals (Biological Sciences)

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Annex H: Multi-level models and institutional residuals (Business and Administration)

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Annex I: Multi-level models and institutional residuals (Social Studies)

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Annex J: Multi-level models and institutional residuals (Creative Arts)

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Annex K: Analysis of JACS subject breakdowns

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Annex L: Multi-level models of Overall Satisfaction

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The National Student Survey is an established part of the landscape for developing and enhancing the quality of learning and teaching. It is a valuable source of information for prospective students and their advisers. It is also being used increasingly to support self-improvement in our universities and colleges of higher education.

This report builds on the 2005 analysis as we now have two years' of data from the survey, providing a rich source of information. A key finding is the remarkable similarity between the results for 2005 and 2006.

We will now be working with the Higher Education Academy to identify the priority areas for further analysis so we, and higher education institutions, can understand why students are responding to the survey in the way they are.

Professor David Eastwood
Chief Executive