Manchester economics students withhold NSS cooperation over curriculum demands

Post-Crash Economics Society campaigners threaten negative feedback in National Student Survey in bid to be offered alternative course modules

March 27, 2014

Source: Alamy

Crash course: society is lobbying for a new economics module to be taught

A group of students at the University of Manchester is hoping to force through changes to the institution’s economics curriculum by threatening to give it negative feedback on the National Student Survey.

The Post-Crash Economics Society has been campaigning for economics courses at Manchester to give more prominence to alternative theories following the 2008 financial crash. It is now urging students to not fill in the NSS until the university makes a decision regarding Bubbles, Panics and Crashes, a module that the society wants to be offered for credit on undergraduate courses from next year.

A post on the society’s Facebook page calls on “all third year students to hold fire on filling in their NSS” until a decision is reached.

“NSS is designed to point out to the university where its failings in undergraduate teaching lie,” the post continues. “If [the university] decides to accept this course as a module it will be demonstrating its dedication to its students and its ability to listen, recognise its failures and respond to the world around it…If it rejects this module the opposite will be true.

“We believe that the result of this decision should have a bearing on how we rate the university in the NSS.”

Joe Earle, campaign coordinator at the society, told Times Higher Education that urging students to make their voice heard through the NSS was a legitimate way to influence the university.

He said that the society had collected 245 signatures from economics students at Manchester who want the new module to be accredited, but he believed that the university would take the threat to NSS scores more seriously.

“The university is very keen to get students to fill out the NSS, saying that they take their feedback very seriously – but this approach does not always seem to translate to non-NSS forms of feedback, like our petition, which is quite sad,” he said.

A spokesman for the University of Manchester said that the society was “leading a national debate on the way economics is taught in higher education” and that the ensuing discussions had been “positive, useful and informative”.

“We urge all students to complete the NSS in the allotted time,” he added. “We take the NSS very seriously, as it is a key way for us to identify those areas that we need to improve upon, so that we may fully meet the needs of our students now and in the future.”

chris.parr@tsleducation.com

Times Higher Education free 30-day trial

You've reached your article limit.

Register to continue

Registration is free and only takes a moment. Once registered you can read a total of 3 articles each month, plus:

  • Sign up for the editor's highlights
  • Receive World University Rankings news first
  • Get job alerts, shortlist jobs and save job searches
  • Participate in reader discussions and post comments
Register

Have your say

Log in or register to post comments

Featured Jobs

Most Commented

Monster behind man at desk

Despite all that’s been done to improve doctoral study, horror stories keep coming. Here three students relate PhD nightmares while two academics advise on how to ensure a successful supervision

opinion illustration

Eliminating cheating services, even if it were possible, would do nothing to address students’ and universities’ lack of interest in learning, says Stuart Macdonald

Sir Christopher Snowden, former Universities UK president, attacks ratings in wake of Southampton’s bronze award

Female professor

New data show proportion of professors who are women has declined at some institutions

Reflection of man in cracked mirror

To defend the values of reason from political attack we need to be more discriminating about the claims made in its name, says John Hendry