Students Staff

9 February 2018

Undergraduate student surveys

Filed under: Latest news — ckeitch @ 10:52 am

At Essex, the views, ideas and feedback of our students are at the heart of what we do. We’ve just launched two surveys for our undergraduate students to tell us about their experiences of studying here. Hannah Gott from our Student Engagement team tells us more.

Hannah Gott

Hannah Gott, Student Engagement Manager

This year, our undergraduate (UG) students are being invited to take part in either the National Student Survey (NSS) or UK Engagement Survey (UKES) to tell us what they think about studying at Essex

The two surveys will run concurrently from 5 February to 30 April, to allow every UG student, whatever their year of study, to take part.  To avoid any confusion, all students are being asked to visit our survey gateway page  so we can make sure they complete the right survey.

Broadly speaking, final year UGs will be invited to take part in the NSS and all other UGs will be able to complete UKES.  However, it’s not quite as straight forward as that as not all final year UG students are included within the NSS data sample. If a UG student isn’t eligible for NSS, they ‘ll be invited to take part in UKES.

This year, we’re really trying to encourage early participation in the surveys by a adopting a departmental led focus. We’ve helped develop a plan for departments to communicate the right information, at the right time, and to avoid the usual clash of communication from Ipsos Mori.  These plans kick off in February and include NSS in-class time for students to learn more about the surveys and to complete them. We’ve also developed a comprehensive set of NSS and UKES staff guides, emails, poster and PowerPoint templates and other useful resources which we’ve shared with all of our departments.

We’ve also been working closely with the Students’ Union and together we’ve developed a cause-based campaign, to encourage students to complete their survey. We’ll be donating £1 to charity for every survey completed, which will be split between the following three charities, chosen by the Students’ Union:

Some departments are also planning their own incentive-based activities, like pizza parties, and we will continue with our NSS Prize Draw, where students who complete the NSS before 28 February can win a VIP Graduation package.

The feedback from these surveys is very important. It helps us to learn more about the experience of our students, and to make improvements for current students and future members of our community.

The results of the NSS are made publicly available on Unistats to help prospective students make informed decisions about where and what to study.  They also make a substantial contribution to our ranking in the The Times and The Sunday Times Good University Guide, as well as other UK ranking systems.

If you have any queries about NSS or UKES you can email us at or take a look at our student voice pages to find out more.

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