University Of Bedfordshire NSS
The NSS at the University of Bedfordshire
Good morning everyone, and thanks to Sami for the invitation to speak to you today.
I’ve been asked to discuss the changes that have taken place at the University of Bedfordshire since I become Vice Chancellor in 2012 – which I will do with a real sense of pride – but I will also attempt to set this within the wider context and history of the National Student Survey.
I hope you will forgive me for that indulgence, but having been there right at the start; I’d like to think that I’m entitled to such liberties!
In fact it’s not just me; Bedfordshire – or University of Luton as it was then – was one of the handful of universities involved in the 2003 pilot that preceded the full national survey. We go back a long way!
But having been the Higher Education Minister that welcomed the first full national student survey in 2005, I’ve been digging around some of the reaction and statements from that time.
I made the prediction that, and I quote, “Students will want to know that the investment they are making represents the best value for their money. This knowledge will put them in a strong position to bring about further improvements in colleges and universities.”
The NSS was to provide a link between student feedback and the actions of their own departments and institutions. I’m confident that, in the main, we have seen this positive progress.
Interestingly however, back in 2004, the Education Secretary (a certain Alan Johnson) said that that
“the information collected from the National Student Survey will not be used by (the) Department to formulate any sort of league table”.
Of course, it’s not the Government that puts together the league table, so Alan was completely right. But the ranking of institutions is, to my mind, a healthy development of the annual NSS cycle.