In December 2016 a group of 18 Students’ Unions jointly commissioned Alterline to do some work on the new NSS survey.
The research gathered data from some 17,000+ students across the diverse rage of institutions and has been used in a variety of ways since then to influence Students’ Unions work. At many SUs it has been used in block grant submissions and has been used as supporting evidence in lobbying work.
Julian Porch, Academic Officer at the University of York Students’ Union, wrote about the research on wonkhe- here.
With the change to the National Student Survey (NSS) question on students’ unions in the form of the new Question 26 (Q26), unions faced a fresh challenge, and opportunity, to demonstrate the extent and value of their contribution to the student experience and to academic life within UK universities. Bringing together 18 unions as part of a joint research venture, The Q26 Impact Study was the first of Alterline’s Union Futures projects and was delivered within four months, following the publication of the amended NSS questionnaire, yielding a core dataset of over 17,000 students.
The project was intended to enable participating unions to formulate a proactive response to the new NSS question prior to the initiation of the 2017 survey, as well as being a resource for reflecting and acting on the subsequent results. This report, Union Futures: The impact of NSS Q26, provides a summary of the key findings from the project for a wider audience beyond the participating unions, to allow the voice of the thousands of students who contributed to the project to be heard, as policy priorities and performance metrics in UK higher education continue to evolve.