Union Futures: Improving NSS Q26
  • September 27, 2018

Union Futures: Improving NSS Q26

If you’re keen to improve your NSS Q26 score and the impact you have as the representative voice of your members, then joining our next students’ union research collaboration is right for you.

The deadline for sign-up is the 31st October 2018.

The National Student Survey (NSS) is an important barometer of student satisfaction and has long been the focus of university-wide attention. The publication of an amended NSS questionnaire in 2017 with a completely new question (Q26) for students’ unions, with a different emphasis, led to some dramatic changes in unions’ scores.

Evidence and insight to improve your NSS Q26 score

In Autumn 2018, Alterline will be repeating the work we undertook with 18 students’ unions in 2016 prior to the first run of question 26. You can read the summary report here. The 2018 project is open to both new students’ unions, and those who took part last time. The project will provide robust and rapid intelligence as an evidence base for action. Gathering both quantitative and qualitative data, we will:

  • Examine which aspects of union activity students assess and prioritise when answering Q26
  • Understand what students are thinking about when they give their answers to Q26
  • Investigate students’ understanding of “academic interests”
  • Analyse the relationship between Q26 and other measures
  • Explore the impact of union and university characteristics on responses to Q26
  • Provide recommendations and ideas for action to improve and sustain NSS scores.

Summary of the research process and timings

For this collaboration, we will:

  1. Start the process with an update of the literature review that informed our 2016 research, incorporating the latest studies
  2. Update the questionnaire and circulate it for comment and approval
  3. Work with you to promote the survey with your students
  4. Profile the particular characteristics of your union and university
  5. Run national on-line focus groups with students from a mix of partner unions
  6. Provide you with the option to commission local online focus groups with participants from your institution*
  7. Undertake detailed analysis of the quantitative and qualitative data
  8. Produce a thorough and thoughtful report comparing our 2018 data with that from 2016 along with a set of recommendations and suggested actions
  9. Provide you with a summary report of your local data, benchmarked against the pooled results
  10. Run a collaborative workshop to discuss the results and share action plans.

Timing overview

Why collaborate?

Our ‘Union Futures’ series, bring students’ unions together to work on common challenges. The model means individual clients have access to tailored strategic research studies, whilst also participating and building communities of practice. The collaborations offer opportunities for shared learning and are leading to practical action and exciting innovations.

What does it cost?

Taking part in the collaboration costs just £3,150 (excl. VAT), considerably less than a bespoke project with the added benefit of working with other unions.

*Local online focus groups with students from your institution are available at £1,000 (excl. VAT) each, with a minimum of two groups per institution.

Join or find out more

If you’d like to join, or want to know more please contact Neesha Patel on 0161 503 5760 or neesha.patel@alterline.co.uk