NSS is a tool for good 1

June 26, 2008

Lee Harvey's criticisms of the National Student Survey ("Jumping through hoops on a white elephant", 12 June) are unfounded. He cites two "blatant attempts at manipulation" by university staff, but fails to acknowledge that the students refused to be swayed by such tactics and were instrumental in bringing them to public attention.

The NSS recognises that students should be considered the experts regarding their own learning experience. Students and student unions have time and again used the results of the survey to successfully argue for changes to their education: for example, at the University of Sussex they won more guaranteed contact hours and resources and at the University of the Arts London they managed to extend library and learning resources, as well as convincing all departments to create action plans in response to students' concerns.

The consistently high response rate and ongoing support for the survey demonstrate its importance to enhancing the student experience, despite the recent hullabaloo about a few individuals who have unsuccessfully sought to unduly influence the outcomes.

Wes Streeting, President, National Union of Students.

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