Following successful boycotts, data from both Oxford and Cambridge will be missing from the results of this year’s National Student Survey as neither met the 50% response rate necessary for publication.
This will be the second year that the universities have not been included.
In 2017, 12 institutions failed to meet the threshold, largely due to boycotts. However, this year’s survey featured all but three of the UK’s universities, with a national average response rate of 70% compared to last year’s 68%.
Oxford SU called for a boycott of the survey in January, over concerns that the information would be used to justify raising tuition fees in universities with higher satisfaction scores. The motion passed with 75% in favour of the boycott.
Oxford SU Vice-President for Access and Academic Affairs, Lucas Bertholdi-Saad, told Cherwell: “We are extremely happy to see Oxford failed to reach 50%.
“By boycotting the NSS, we resist the differentiation and increase of tuition fees that threaten to make Higher Education the preserve of the wealthy for years to come. It’s great to see how many students oppose marketisation by not filling out the survey.
“Following the successful NSS boycott in a number of major universities last year, including Oxford, the Government tried to silence students by halving the weight of the NSS in the Teaching Education Framework. Continued mobilisation on the boycott campaign, serious criticism of the NSS by institutions such as the Royal Statistical Society, as well as considerable criticism of the TEF by academics, has now led the Government to suspend the link of the TEF to tuition fees, and freeze the level of tuition fees.
“This is a major victory for the boycott campaign and the campaign against marketisation – and for education – in UK universities.”
Speaking to Cherwell, a spokesperson for the University said: “It is a shame not to see a higher response rate to the NSS within Oxford because we have found it a useful feedback mechanism in the past.”
Oxford has taken part in the Student Barometer Survey, which found that 94% of respondents were satisfied with studying at Oxford in 2017. The response rate was 39%.
Amongst universities which did participate in the NSS, overall student satisfaction fell by 1% in England and 2% in Scotland, with student satisfaction with tutors’ feedback as low as 73% nationally. St. Andrew’s topped the list with 94% overall student satisfaction.