National Student Survey (NSS)

Learn about the National Student Survey (NSS) 2023 and how to promote to students.

What is the National Student Survey

The National Student Survey (NSS) is a national survey, which has been conducted by Ipsos MORI annually since 2005. The survey provides students with an opportunity to give their honest opinions on what they liked, or didn't like, about their time on their course.

This feedback provides us with a picture of what the learning experience has been like for students completing their course in that year. We are able to use the results to identify areas of strength and weakness. This information can be used to help effect changes designed to improve the student experience for both current and prospective students. More widely, the NSS provides information as part of the higher education quality assurance system.

The NSS is commissioned by the Office for Students (OfS), on behalf of the UK funding bodies and administered by Ipsos, an independent research company and as a result all responses are anonymous.

NSS 2023 questions

This year the NSS questions have changed from 2022 following a consultation. We have chosen to use the core questions for 2023. You can see the NSS questions for 2023 and 2022 at the link below.

NSS Help Cards from Ipsos

Key dates timeline

See below for key dates when the University and Ipsos will be communicating with eligible students, and what you can do to help promote the NSS:

Key dates

Week commencing 17 November 2022

  • We (centrally) will send required NSS pre-notification to eligible students (includes GDPR and student guide on inappropriate influence).

Week commencing 9 January 2023

  • Community Catch-Up for NSS 2023 on Tuesday 10 January. The online session by Mica Rose, Head of Student Experience, covers what the NSS is and how you can support this year. Watch the recording. 

Week commencing 16 January 2023

  • Central communications send a pre-emptive reminder email to let eligible students know that they will receive an invitation from Ipsos the following week, the importance of survey and incentive details
  • Reminder in staff newsletter that the NSS opens next week and provide guidance and templates.  

Survey week 1 (Week commencing 23 January)

  • 2023 NSS start date for Kent is 23 January
  • On 23 January central communications will send a launch email to let eligible students know that they can now complete the NSS and claim their voucher.
  • NSS stand at Kent Union's Big Fair on 24 January.
  • Ipsos will email students on Thursday 26 January with survey link.
  • Divisions can arrange dedicated sessions for students on Friday/Monday to maximise the use of unique email links (not compulsory for students to attend)
  • Divisions and staff can generally promote the NSS with reference to the invitation email that eligible students will receive from Ipsos
  • Incentive starts for students who complete the survey in the first two weeks 

Survey week 2 (Week commencing 30 January)

  • Ipsos will send first reminder email on Monday 30 January to non-responding students
  • Ipsos will send SMS reminders to non-responding students' phones on Thursday 2 February
  • Divisions can arrange dedicated sessions with students on Tuesday/Wednesday to maximise use of unique email links, or Friday while SMS reminders are still fresh in students' minds (non compulsory for students to attend)
  • Divisions can generally promote the NSS with reference to the reminder emails
  • Deadline for incentive is midnight on 5 February 2023

Survey Week 3 (Week commencing 6 February)

  • Incentive deadline extended to 12 February
  • Ipsos will email a second reminder to non-responding students on Thursday 9 February 
  • Ipsos will begin telephone interviews with students and follow up later in the week
  • Divisions can arrange dedicated sessions on Wednesday/Thursday to maximise the use of unique email links (not compulsory for students to attend)
  • Divisions can generally promote the NSS with reference to the SMS reminders

Survey week 4-5 (Weeks commencing 13 February and 6 March)

  • Divisions can send email reminders to eligible non-responsive students to encourage completion
  • Divisions can arrange dedicated sessions/visit lectures or teaching sessions to promote the survey (not compulsory for students to attend)

From 1 March onwards

  • Ipsos will begin the targeted follow-up phase. All non-responsive students will be contacted, including an additional SMS reminder. In addition to targeted follow-ups, for NSS, all providers who are at risk of not meeting the publication threshold will be automatically put into a booster phase to send additional reminders to their non-responding students
  • Providers’ specific communications and promotion can continue until the survey closes

Final Survey Week (Week commencing 24 April)

  • NSS closing date is 30 April 2023
  • Reminder emails from Ipsos will be sent to  non-responding students in the final survey week
  • Providers can arrange final dedicated sessions to maximise the use of unique email links (non compulsory for students to attend).

NSS digital materials

The NSS digital materials can be downloaded below. Please use the templates to show changes you made in response to the NSS.

The webpage we will be directing students to, and should be used in all communications, is 

Survey artwork (Canterbury incentive)

Templates (general)

Survey artwork (Medway incentive)

If you can't find what you're looking for above, see all the NSS 2023 assets

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