The 2018 National Student Survey (NSE) kicks off on 15 January, giving all students in the Netherlands the opportunity to make their voices heard by sharing their study experiences, including students studying at Wittenborg University of Applied Sciences.
Though the NSE does not link the survey to any national rankings of institutions, it is inevitably utilised by various ranking bodies once the results become public, therefore affecting the overall value of a student’s degree.
Wittenborg is one of 73 institutions in the Netherlands that will participate in the NSE this year. It is considered the biggest annual survey of students in the Netherlands, and is used to determine students’ satisfaction levels regarding their study programmes, their institutes and general student experiences. Last year, thousands of students took part and Wittenborg hopes even more of its own students will do so this year.
Wittenborg’s chair of the executive board, Peter Birdsall, said it was important that students give constructive opinions in the survey. “Their feedback is anonymous and useful for the survey's general results. Additionally, if students do have complaints, we can deal with specific issues through the student representatives, who can be contacted via the internal email system. Student representatives have regular direct meetings with management on all issues, academic and non-academic, at the university.
The results will be made public on 24 May, 2018. Students can also win some interesting prizes!
How do I participate in the NSE?
From mid-January, students can expect an email in their inbox prompting them to participate in the NSE. The email will contain a custom link directing students to a questionnaire, which they can fill out straight away. Typical aspects covered in the questionnaire include:
• content of the study programme
• skills acquired
• preparation for a professional career
• teachers and lecturers
• study facilities
• testing and assessment
• programme schedules
• study load
• academic guidance/counselling
Over the course of the next 3 months, students will also receive several reminders about filling out the questionnaire. The deadline is 11 March, 2018, but Wittenborg wants to encourage its students to start well in advance so they can have ample time to complete the survey.
Why participate in the NSE?
Participating in the NSE means students have the opportunity to impact directly the quality of their studies, since the results are used as an advisory tool by policy makers at university and national levels to improve education standards. It is also used as a tool by prospective students to help them determine where they want to study and which programme they would like to follow. Last, but certainly not least, students can win all sorts of exciting prizes by taking part in the survey.
What are the prizes?
Students who take part in the survey before 11 March, 2018, stand the chance of winning:
• 1 x Travel voucher from Kilroy worth €2 000
• 500 x Ticketmaster e-Gift Cards worth €20
What happens to the results?
The results will be made public on 24 May. Additionally, they will be sent (anonymously) to participating institutions in order to help improve the quality of their programmes. The results are also published on the independent higher education website Studiekeuze123.nl to aid prospective students in choosing a course programme. When the results are in, students can check how their own programme fared on Studiekeuze123.nl.
Who commissions the NSE?
The NSE is organised by Studiekeuze123. This foundation is the result of an initiative of Vereniging Hogescholen (Higher Education Council), NRTO (Dutch Council of Training and Education), VSNU (University Association) as well as the student organisations ISO and LSVb. Research is carried out by the Dutch research institute GfK.
by James Wittenborg
©Wittenborg University Press