Final year students are being asked to complete the National Student Survey (NSS). We don’t want you to. Instead, we want you to pledge to boycott the NSS, and not complete it.

We know it’s strange as we usually support you giving feedback in this way, but its different this time round – and it’s different because this time, completing the survey could lead to an increase in tuition fees.


The National Student Survey (NSS) is an independently run survey which has been carried out across the UK each year since 2005.

The survey invites undergraduate students in their final year of study to reflect on their time at university and to share their opinions about key issues relating to their education.

In short, you should boycott to stop Government using your information to raise tuition fees.

In 2016, the Government proposed introducing a ‘Teaching Excellence Framework (TEF)’ – and if Universities score well in this framework, they can increase their tuition fees. How well they score in the TEF partially depends on the University’s scores in the National Student Survey (NSS).

Each institution has to get over 50% of students completing the survey to have their results publishable. If we can get students to boycott the survey it means the NSS results are not reliable data and therefore cannot be used in the TEF calculation. This undermines the validity of the TEF and will mean the Government has to rethink its plans.

The TEF (Teaching Excellence Framework) is a new and initiative Government has thought up as a way to assess university quality, but the way it plans to do this could destroy Higher Education.

TEF plans to rank institutions as bronze, silver or gold – and those who rank gold and silver can increase tuition fees. This means it’s going to carry on costing more to study, and it will continue to make it harder for poorer students to go to University which receives a better ranking.

And what about those who rank bronze? Well, employers won’t look as favourably on your 1st class honours if you come from one of the lower ranked institutions, which completely undermines all the hard work and effort you put into your degree.

It’s not just us. We are joining the boycott the NSS fight alongside around these other Higher Education institutions:

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

There’s lots of ways to give feedback to the University all your round that, unlike the NSS, don’t restrict you to only having your say once at the end of the year, and also won’t be used to increase tuition fees or devalue your degree.

You can speak to your Course Rep who has regular meetings with your department to make your teaching experience better.

You can give feedback via your module evaluation forms you should receive at the end of each module.

You can use our Change It online system to share bright ideas or make suggestions which will improve things for you and fellow students.

We will also be holding a student feedback day on Thursday 16th March. We will be dedicating the whole day to collecting your thoughts on your University experience, and the results will be used to lobby the University for positive change and shape the future of our work.

Yes. The future of increases to your tuition fees lies in the hands of final year students completing the survey. While not completing the survey yourself is impossible, you can still oppose the plans by spreading the message with us, and encouraging as many final year students as possible to not complete and hit delete. Contact Emily Spurrell, our Policy and Campaigns Manager, to find out ways you can join in with our fight.

You must also pledge so we can keep a record of how many students made a choice to boycott the NSS this year.

We can then show the University and Government how many students are in favour of the boycott – otherwise they may interpret your incomplete survey as you not having the time, rather than you actively making a political decision.