How to get involved:

Pledge to boycott the NSS

Watch and share our video about the boycott here

 

Boycott the NSS for Bristol

The University is asking final year students to fill out the National Student Survey (NSS). But Bristol SU is asking you not to: pledge here to boycott the NSS.

Normally, your responses to the NSS would go to the University to help improve your student experience. Normally, we would support this. But this year it’s different.

From this year the University will share your data with the Government in order to charge higher tuition fees.

 


You can find more information about the NSS Boycott below - and you can pledge to boycott in the form on this page.

To read the University's reasons for taking part in the TEF, you can visit their webpage about it here.
 

+ Why boycott the NSS?

Quick answer: so that the government can’t use your data to raise fees. [Read more...]

 

Quick answer: so that the government can’t use your data to raise fees.

Long answer: For some time now, students and University staff across the country have shown opposition to a new government initiative called the Teaching Excellence Framework (TEF). The TEF will see fees go up, and some Universities become more expensive than others.

To work, the TEF relies partly on data provided by students through the NSS. If we make that data unusable then we make the TEF unworkable.

+ What the eff is the TEF?

The TEF (or Teaching Excellence Framework) is a new government initiative for assessing university quality. [Read more...]

The TEF (or Teaching Excellence Framework) is a new government initiative for assessing university quality. Which kind of sounds like a good thing?

Sadly not, the TEF forces Universities to compete like they’re in a market, battling for a bronze, silver or gold award. Universities with higher awards will be allowed to charge higher fees. This means not only that fees will keep going up and up for everyone, but that poorer students will be priced out of the highest ranked Universities. 

At Bristol, hundreds of students and staff have already shown their opposition in a series of open letters to the Vice Chancellor, Hugh Brady.

But despite overwhelming opposition from those who will be affected by the TEF, the Government is pushing forward. They have ignored our lobbying in Parliament, our action on campuses and our National Demo in London.

+ So how is the NSS linked to the rise in fees?

The TEF uses final year students’ responses to the National Student Survey (NSS) to determine whether a University can increase its tuition fees. [Read more...]

The TEF uses final year students’ responses to the National Student Survey (NSS) to determine whether a University can increase its tuition fees. Under proposed guidelines, a University that satisfied the TEF criteria year on year would also be able to raise fees year on year.

The NSS is the one tool we have left to reject higher tuition fees. 

We can break the TEF by breaking the NSS. If under 50% of students fill it out, our data can’t be used for that year. That means fees can’t be increased.
Even a drop of only 10%  in numbers completing the survey can be used to send a clear message to the government that students will fight the TEF every step of the way. This is because the Bristol boycott is just a small part of a much bigger national campaign.

+ Who's boycotting?

Students from a number of Universities across the country will be boycotting the NSS. These include [Read more...]

Students from a number of Universities across the country are boycotting the NSS. These include:

  • Kings College London
  • University College London
  • Oxford
  • Reading
  • Bristol
  • Goldsmiths
  • Brunel
  • Central School for Speech and Drama
  • Courtauld Institute of Art
  • University of the Arts London
  • Warwick
  • Bath
  • Manchester
  • Sheffield
  • Sheffield Hallam
  • University of Liverpool
  • Queen Mary’s London
  • Sussex
  • Aberdeen
  • SOAS University of London

+ Will boycotting damage the reputation of the University of Bristol, and could it therefore devalue my degree?

No, boycotting the NSS is unlikely to affect where the University falls on league tables. [Read more...]

No, boycotting the NSS is unlikely to affect where the University falls on league tables. NSS results are only used within league tables for measuring Student Satisfaction, which is just one of a range of metrics used in calculating overall rankings. The vast majority of data used in creating league tables comes instead from the Higher Education Statistics Agency, which is not affected by the NSS.

Bristol for example is still ranked in the top 15 universities in the Complete University Guide for 2016, despite coming 106th for student satisfaction in the corresponding NSS survey (gathered in 2015).

+ How can I give my feedback to the University without filling in the NSS?

There are lots of opportunities to provide feedback to the University that, unlike the NSS, won’t be used to increase tuition fees! [Read more...]

There are lots of opportunities to provide feedback to the University that, unlike the NSS, won’t be used to increase tuition fees!

You can feedback to the University about your academic experienced on a continuous basis by engaging with your Course Reps, who have regular meetings with your department. Individual schools often also distribute their own feedback questionnaires for feedback on specific courses or modules. The feedback provided via these mechanisms will be much more specifically tailored to your School than NSS results, it is therefore more likely to facilitate positive change!

If your feedback relates to another aspect of student life, such as wellbeing or living, you could also get in contact with the relevant Student Officer, who will help you target your feedback to get the best results. 

Bristol SU also conduct an annual survey, that seeks your feedback on all aspects of University life, and the results of which are fed back to the university.

+ Will my education suffer if Bristol is unable to raise fees?

No. We believe the University is more likely to be harmed through the creeping marketisation of education we are seeing through government initiatives like TEF [Read more...]

No. We believe the University is more likely to be harmed through the creeping marketisation of education we are seeing through government initiatives like TEF, which place even bigger pressures on academics, than any potential short-term funding issues.

We also believe Universities have a responsibility to lobby central government for proper funding, instead of continually shouldering greater burdens onto the shoulder’s of students.

+ I'm not in a final year undergraduate, how does this affect me?

Even if you can not actively boycott the NSS, as only final year students have the opportunity to fill it out, you can still show your opposition to tuition fee increases [Read more...]

Even if you can not actively boycott the NSS, as only final year students have the opportunity to fill it out, you can still show your opposition to tuition fee increases by supporting the boycott and spreading the message. The more unified we appear as a student body on this issue, the more lobbying power we have to stop the university from raising fees!

+ Why Should I pledge?

By pledging to tell us you're boycotting we can keep an accurate record of how many students made a deliberate choice to boycott the NSS this year. [Read more...]

By pledging to tell us you're boycotting we can keep an accurate record of how many students made a deliberate choice to boycott the NSS this year. This means we can show the University and the Government just how many students are opposed to the new measures proposed for Higher Education.

 

Otherwise your survey just sits like an unfilled voting card. No one knows if you are making a political choice to boycott or if you just didn't get around to filling the survey in.

Pledge to Boycott the NSS here: