Don't fill in the NSS

Queen Mary Students’ Union is asking you to boycott the National Student Survey (NSS).

Education is radically changing because of the government’s reforms. With their introduction of the Teaching Excellence Framework (TEF), Universities will be able to hike up their fees year on year. We are students, not customers.

The TEF is a poor measure of teaching excellence, it is not fit for purpose and is certainly not putting students first. It also puts pressure on the staff who teach us. That’s why we are saying #TEFOff

The NSS is a survey all final years will be asked to fill in. Your NSS results are a major part of the TEF. However if under 50% of final year students do not fill in the NSS the results cannot be used to rank QMUL in the TEF, and your feedback cannot be used to raise fees.

By not filling in the NSS, we are showing the government that we have the collective power to defend our education system.

We stand alongside another 22 Students’ Union- including Oxford, Kings and Reading- who are encouraging their students to boycott the NSS.

If you have any questions, or want to get involved in the campaign join our campaign Facebook group or drop us a message.

Sign our NSS Boycott Pledge Here


Your FAQs answered 

Did you not just campaign on Freezing Fees?

Yes we did but that was just the start of our campaign. We were successful in freezing fees for home and EU students currently at QMUL who will be continuing here. However fees are going up for incoming students in September 2017 because of the TEF. This issue is not just about fees at Queen Mary, but is a national action to comment on the government's introduction of the TEF.

What the TEF is the Teaching Excellence Framework? 

For fees to go up in 2017-18, universities just have to meet a basic quality standard. It is up to the individual university entirely whether they want to raise them.

Universities are currently deciding whether to take part in TEF2 (which would decide fees for 2018-19)

TEF2 will now measure ‘Teaching Excellence’ using

  • Data from the NSS surveys*
  • Our student retention scores
  • The number of students in ‘highly skilled’ employment or further study 6 months after graduating

*Finalists are encouraged to fill this out at the end of their degree

Each university will then receive a ranking from bronze-gold using the results of these metrics. If we score well in these areas, QMUL can choose to put up fees year after year. 

So how is the TEF linked to fees rising? 

The TEF will be using final year students’ responses to the NSS, AKA your feedback! to determine whether universities such as QMUL can increase its tuition fees. Under proposed guidelines a University that satisfied the TEF criteria year on year would be also be able to raise its fees year on year. 

Feedback is important! How can I still give my feedback? 

We agree that feedback is important. Your views are essential for both the University and Union to improve the student experience. There are still lots of ways you can provide us with feedback that unlike the NSS will not result in your fees increasing;

  • Complete your Module Evaluation surveys sent out by your academic department.  
  • Submit your ideas to our new online ideas hub:
  • Talk to your Officer, course rep or participate in student meetings like Student Council
  • Or participate in other University and Union surveys released throughout the year. For example we are currently running the Student Experience Survey on learning resources and nominations for the Education Awards are open. 

These are just a few of the ideas of how you can still give us feedback! 

Who else is boycotting?

Students across the country are joining together to boycott the NSS, it really is a big national campaign. Other Universities 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
  • Sussex
  • Aberdeen
  • SOAS University of London
  • Cambridge