Magazine article The Times Higher Education Supplement : THE

NSS Has Little Impact on Applications: Study

Magazine article The Times Higher Education Supplement : THE

NSS Has Little Impact on Applications: Study

Article excerpt

Student satisfaction scores have only a minor impact on the demand for university courses, a recent study has found.

A paper looking at data from the National Student Survey and on applications to undergraduate degrees finds that while universities' student satisfaction scores do have "a small statistically significant effect" on applications, the effect of changes in scores on demand, from year to year, is "quite small".

An institution moving from the bottom of the scale (around a 65 per cent NSS satisfaction score) to the top of the scale (around 95 per cent satisfaction) results in a degree course gaining only about seven more applicants for every 100 it already receives, according to Stephen Gibbons, professor of economic geography and environment at the London School of Economics and co-author of the report.

The study, titled "Student satisfaction, league tables and university applications: evidence from Britain", finds that the impact of NSS scores is mainly attributable to the influence on a university's position in other subject-specific league tables, which include student satisfaction as one of its indicators, such as The Times and The Sunday Times Good University Guide. …

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