Already Filled Out The National Student Survey? It's Not Too Late!
Found our #Dontfillitin campaign too late? Have you been convinced about the dangers filling out the NSS will bring, but you’ve already completed it? Don’t worry – here are three easy steps on how you can withdraw your survey submission.
Go onto your student email account on My Manchester.
Compose an email addressed to email@example.com, with the subject as “Request to Withdraw my Submission to the NSS”
In the main section of the email, copy and paste the message below (filling in the blanks);
“To whom is may concern,
I am writing to you to request my withdrawal of my submission on the NSS. I attend the University of Manchester and my student number is ___________.
and click “Send”.
Tell everyone else in your year and on your course about the campaign, and fill in the Manchester Student Survey instead
The NSS is optional, so you won’t be penalised, and won’t be complicit in the rising of tuition fees. It’s really that simple!
Three common questions about our #Dontfillitin campaign
You might have heard that the Students’ Union is campaigning against the National Student Survey (the NSS) with our #Dontfillitin initiative because it is going to be linked to the increase in tuition fees.
We have made both students and staff explicitly aware of the boycott: we made a video, did lecture shout-outs, had meetings with societies, hung banners, distributed posters and flyers and I personally emailed all Heads of Schools (and met with three) and brought up the action at University meetings.
From these interactions there have been some questions raised about the boycott from both parties: namely, that (1) that the boycott will have no impact on the government reforms on Higher Education so is a useless exercise, (2) it will reduce the ranking on league tables and impact recruitment and funding, and (3) that student feedback will not be recorded sufficiently.
The following points address these questions:
1. “The boycott won’t affect the government’s decision to roll out the Teaching Excellence Framework”
The reasons we have the #Dontfillitin campaign is to combat the government’s new mechanism called the Teaching Excellence Framework (the TEF). See more about the TEF here. The boycott won’t destabilise the TEF immediately, but we are campaigning against the NSS for three main reasons:
2. “It will reduce the ranking on league tables and harm recruitment”
The government body in charge of funding and scrutinising universities, HEFCE, are well aware of the boycott so as far as we know, if the completion rate drops below 50% rendering the results void, league tables will be based on the NSS data from last year.
We partly chose to do a boycott because of this reason – there was talk of doing a sabotage which would involve asking students to fill out the NSS with only negative responses, which would have had an even worse impact on league tables and recruitment.
Additionally, Manchester is not the only Union participating in the boycott. There are 24 others (and counting) that have pledged to boycott the NSS. The full list of boycotters can be found below.
If all the boycotts are successful, and there is no NSS data for Manchester for this year, we can take comfort in knowing that there will be no NSS data for these universities too, which mitigates the issue of competition in the league tables.
Moreover, if league tables do become affected, and if there is substantial media coverage of the national boycott, potential students and parents will be aware of why that is the case.
3. “Student feedback will not be recorded sufficiently”
Student voice and feedback is crucial, to both celebrate excellent student experience and to scrutinise areas that require improvement. Alongside the boycott of the National Student Survey, UMSU has launched an alternative survey, the Manchester Student Survey (MSS). The questions in the MSS will be identical to the new questions in the NSS, apart from three questions at the end.
We are able to ‘clean’ the data sufficiently, so all fake responses will be taken out.
The more students that fill out the Manchester Student Survey, the more robust the results and the stronger the campaign will be. It is open to ALL YEARS, so please complete it when you can!
Finally, we understand that a better way of measuring teaching is crucial, so will be working on that with NUS in the near future. It is a really exciting opportunity and we’ll be doing a lot of research and exploring how teaching excellence is measured around the world.
Other Students’ Unions that are boycotting the National Student Survey include: