A win for sustainability as it's added to NSS

1st February 2018

Following half a decade of lobbying from organisations and individuals, mostly spearheaded by the National Union of Students (NUS), the National Student Survey (NSS) will now include questions on sustainability.

The NSS is a survey conducted by independent researchers Ipsos MORI, commissioned by the Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE) on behalf of the Higher Education Council for Wales (HEFCW), the Department for Economy Northern Ireland (DfENI), The Scottish Funding Council (SFC), Health Education England (HEE) and participating private/alternative Higher Education providers. Aimed at final year undergraduates, the survey asks students to give their honest views on their time in Higher Education.

The questions to be included on environmental sustainability are:
  • My institution encourages good environmental practice
  • My course has encouraged me to think about environmental sustainability
  • I have had opportunities to take part in activities supporting environmental sustainability

These questions are to be included as an optional bank. This means they do not fall within the core questions included on a survey, instead an institution has to select them. Institutions (with input from their students’ union) select 6 out of 13 optional banks to add to the core questions. The data from the bank questions is only shared with the institution rather than nationally like the core questions.

We would like to congratulate those that lobbied for this addition. It should provide some very interesting data from institutions that choose to share it. The 2018 NSS is currently live, and will be open until the 8th April. Students can complete the survey here: https://nss.ipsosinteractive.com/mrIWeb/mrIWeb.dll

While it is too late for this year, we would also like to encourage members to lobby the institutional staff that decide on the bank questions to include the sustainability questions next year. It is likely this will need to be decided by November 2018 – so there is no harm in suggesting this in advance.
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