Many of my most satisfying experiences have also been the most challenging: I bet the same is true for Frank Furedi. So why does he argue that a focus on the student experience "inexorably" leads to risk-averse approaches?
Assuming that students cannot distinguish between the "satisfaction" of passive consumerism and the satisfaction of challenging and life-changing study is patronising. My experience is the opposite: students often want more authentic and demanding courses than they are currently offered.
The NSS is flawed and distorting, but it has also shone a useful light on dark corners. Consider the burst of interest in feedback, stimulated by consistently poor NSS scores, which has led to a broad academic consensus that it should be reconceptualised in more engaging, more dialogical and more - not less - challenging ways.
Arguing against the NSS does not and should not mean arguing against a respectful dialogue with our students.
Mark Huxham, Professor of environmental biology, School of Life, Sport and Social Sciences, Edinburgh Napier University