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15 June 2009 HEFCE logo
To  Heads of English higher education institutions
Heads of HEFCE-funded further education colleges
Heads of universities in Northern Ireland
Heads of selected Scottish higher education institutions
Telephone 0117 931 7317
Facsimile 0117 931 7203

Circular letter number 11/2009

For further information contact Julia Moss, tel 0117 931 7453, e-mail, or Alison Felton, tel 0117 931 7078, e-mail

Dear Vice-Chancellor or Principal

2009 National Student Survey: Changes to publication of data

1.   This letter provides information to institutions on the next steps in the 2009 National Student Survey (NSS) process, including how and when to access their 2009 NSS results via both the Ipsos MORI and Unistats web-sites. This year sees a change in the process whereby institutions can preview their own results on the HEFCE extranet in July as well as on the Unistats web-site in September.

2.   I would like to take this opportunity to thank you all for your hard work on the 2009 NSS. Current indications (subject to data checking) suggest that the overall response rate for NSS 2009, including students studying NHS subjects, is over 60 per cent. This is the first year that NHS students have been included in the full survey methodology as opposed to just online as in previous years.

Publication of the 2009 results: Planned schedule of activity

3.   Institutions will be able to preview their results on the HEFCE extranet from 22 July (details of how to access them will be sent to HEFCE’s institutional contacts closer to the time). This will be followed on 6 August by the launch of Phase 1 of the Ipsos MORI NSS results site which presents NSS data to institutions at a high level of detail and with access to students' comments, where all pre-calculated data tables will be available at institution, subject and sector level.

4.   Also on 6 August we intend to publish a HEFCE press release of all sector summary data; detailed data will also be released to selected press contacts on this date.

5.   On 27 August Ipsos MORI will launch Phase 2 (custom analysis) of the results site. The custom analysis function provides each institution the freedom to analyse tailored results for specific cohorts of students.

6.   From 15 September institutions will be able to preview their own results on the Unistats web-site ( From 22 September there will be a further preview period where institutions have access to all institutions' data, and on 29 September the Unistats web-site will be available for public access.

7.   If you have any queries about anything in this letter contact Julia Moss on 0117 931 7453 or

Yours sincerely

Sir Alan Langlands
Chief Executive