Survey is sound

November 9, 2006

Your article "'Vocal minority' could ruin faculty reputations"

(November 2) asserts that just 20 students could make or break the reputation of courses under proposed reforms to the National Student Survey.

This is misleading. We are suggesting that student assessments of courses be published only where 40 per cent of the total number and a minimum of 20 individuals responded.

Only on courses where there were 50 or fewer students in total would the views of 20 individuals be considered representative.

The reforms are aimed at broadening still further the range of information available under the survey, which is widely acknowledged as a success story, giving accurate, impartial and robust information. Such information was previously unavailable either to prospective students or to universities.

Michael Arthur
Chair, National Student Survey steering group

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