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Student voice

At the University of Essex the views, ideas and feedback of our students are at the heart of what we do.

The time you take to offer feedback is hugely appreciated. We use your feedback – positive and developmental - to help make short and longer term improvements, both to your experience as a current student, but also for Essex students of the future.

As well as feedback and focus groups through the year, through one of our services on campus, within your department or as a member of the Students’ Union, we are also keen for your vital input in annual surveys which help the University in planning for the future to improve the experience for all our students. In the spring term each year, our undergraduate students are invited to participate either in the National Student Survey (NSS) or UK Engagement Survey (UKES).

  • National Student Survey

    The National Student Survey (NSS) is open at the University of Essex between Monday 5 February and close on Monday 30 April.

    The NSS takes place annually at most higher education providers across the UK. It is aimed at final year undergraduates and gives you the opportunity to give feedback on your experience.

    The NSS gives you the opportunity to voice your experience of your course at the University of Essex – both what you’ve liked and what you think could be improved. Your feedback is hugely appreciated and will be used to shape the future experience of your fellow students here at Essex, both by the University and the Students’ Union.

    Nationally, the results of the survey also help those considering higher education decide where and what to study, through the Unistats website

    All your responses will remain strictly anonymous – at no point will staff at the University of Essex be able to identity you or to see how you’ve answered.

    For more information on the NSS visit

    Not sure if you are eligible to participate?

    If you're eligible to complete the survey, Ipsos Mori will have contacted you in February 2018, to invite you to fill in the survey online.

    Alternatively, visit our surveys gateway to check your eligibility


  • UK Engagement Survey (UKES)

    The UK Engagement Survey (or UKES) is a national survey for undergraduate students inviting you to reflect on your time at University so far in relation to your course and wider learning experience. The questionnaire takes around 15 minutes to complete.

    At Essex, we invite all 1st, 2nd and some 3rd/ final year students to participate in UKES. The UKES is open at the University of Essex between Monday 5 February and close on Monday 30 April.

    UKES concentrates on your course and includes:

    • critical thinking
    • working with other students
    • interacting with staff
    • course challenge
    • connecting and reflecting on the things you’ve learned

    It is a chance to reflect on how you study and what might help your studies in future. The results also helps the University of Essex and Students’ Union make changes that will improve what we do in future and to keep doing the things that are of value. We hope that this will help improve your learning outcomes and those of students like you in the future.

    For more information about the UKES, visit https://www.heacademy.ac.uk/institutions/surveys/uk-engagement-survey#section-2.

    Not sure if you are eligible to participate?

    If you’re eligible to complete the survey, the University of Essex will contact you in February 2018, to invite you to fill in the survey online. Alternatively, visit our surveys gateway to check your eligibility and be re-directed to the appropriate survey.

About the surveys

  • Sharing your information

    The University is required to pass details of students in their final year to Ipsos-MORI for the National Student Survey (NSS). This data is used only for the survey and removed from their systems as soon as the survey is over. All responses are reported anonymously. Find out more about the National Student Survey.

    The University passes details of students in their 1st, 2nd (and a small number of 3rd/ Final year undergraduate students) to BOS who co-ordinate the UK Engagement Survey (NSS) on behalf of the Higher Education Academy. This data is used only for the survey and removed from their systems as soon as the survey is over. All responses are reported anonymously.

    Opting out

    UKES

    The University will contact eligible students by email and text during the survey period. If you do not wish to receive any communications and/or want to opt out of any survey can do so by emailing surveys@essex.ac.uk providing your full name, course registration number.

    NSS

    To opt out of the NSS update your preference on their website

  • For more information

    For more information about student surveys or if you’d like to talk to someone about your experience at the University of Essex, please email surveys@essex.ac.uk.

  • How we use the results

    The University of Essex has a full procedure on disseminating student survey results. In brief, this involves the following activity.

    Understanding the National Student Survey results

    National Student Survey (NSS) results are not published per department because not all university departments are the same. Different universities divide their subjects up in different ways so the NSS reflects this by publishing results using the universities sector-wide ‘joint academic coding system’ (JACS). These codes can be grouped together to give very broad subject groupings, such as social studies, made up from a collection of more refined groups, such as economics, politics or sociology. NSS subjects are made up of a hierarchy of three levels, each containing a number of groups from the level below.

    Unistats and national media publication

    Once available NSS results and many other statistics are published on Unistats, the official website that helps students make an informed choice about choosing which university to apply to. At this time NSS results are also published in national newspapers’ university league tables and the University will communicate the results internally and externally to staff and students and in news releases.

    Departments or schools act on results

    All results from the Student Satisfaction Survey, including free text comments, are initially sent to heads of department or school, who are then responsible for dealing with NSS and SSS results in accordance with University of Essex procedure. The University’s Pro-Vice-Chancellor for Education also reviews all SSS reports, including free text comments, and Pro-Vice-Chancellors review all SSS reports and free text comments for their faculty’s departments. As a consequence, link PVCs usually discuss particular issues with heads of department or school and refer them for further discussion.

    The University’s Strategic Planning and Change Section provides a basic set of NSS results data for departments, who may request access to more detailed data. For departments, surveys supplement course-specific feedback received from students during the Student Assessment of Modules and Teaching (SAMT), a valuable tool that also serves to improve the quality of your educational and student experience before you reach the end of your programme. Heads of department or school subsequently give feedback to staff and student liaison committees on action taken in response to surveys.

    Results inform strategic planning

    Results are also considered at University level and are used to inform the University's strategic planning processes with particular reference to those areas that are most important to students. Survey results also feed into annual programme monitoring and the annual departmental planning cycle.