A call with Annie de Jong about the National Student Survey
It’s time once again to take the National Student Survey (NSE), the annual student satisfaction survey for all students at research universities and universities of applied sciences. Annie de Jong is a Policy Officer for Quality Assurance at Strategy and Academic Affairs and the central contact person for the NSE. She explains why it is important for as many students as possible to take the survey.
What is the National Student Survey?
‘The NSE is an annual survey that is sent to all students in the Netherlands on behalf of the Ministry of Education, Culture and Science. The main purpose of the survey is to inform prospective students about different degree programmes in the Netherlands. They can view the results online and compare how satisfied current students are with various educational institutions. And we as a university use the results to improve our teaching.’
Why is the survey important?
‘For students who are still considering what to study, it’s really useful to be able to compare different institutions. So with the NSE we help prospective students make a choice. The results are also really valuable for the University of course. The data is analysed at different levels: some results are really interesting for a faculty or even just at a degree programme. We package the results in a way that they can do something with them. But there are also topics that we can work on throughout the University because they are relevant to all students, student well-being for instance. The results are shared with the faculties and degree programmes, but we also discuss them with the Rector Magnificus, for example.’
How has our university been doing in recent years?
‘We are doing quite well and our students are satisfied with the University. But it’s difficult to compare with previous years: there was no NSE in 2020 because of coronavirus and the questionnaire was revised in 2021. It’s difficult to pinpoint any trends because we ask about different things. We can see that career preparation is a point of concern. Students feel they are lacking career-preparation tools and information during their studies. That’s something the University is working on and it’s one of the ambitions of the vision on teaching and learning.’
This week is NSE action week. Why is this?
‘It’s an opportunity to draw attention to the survey. Faculties and degree programmes are also doing all sorts of activities and there is a national TikTok campaign too. The action week is for the entire University and the aim is that no one will be able to miss that the survey is open for students to complete. We will be in newsletters, lecturers will show slides in lectures and our social media will focus on it.’
What tip would you have for staff wanting to get a higher response?
‘If students understand why it is important to fill in the survey, they are often willing to do so. We are allowed to communicate neutrally about the action points that arose from previous survey results, so this is a great way to show students which improvements resulted from the survey and that they too can benefit.’
A call about
There is a lot happening within Leiden University. The websites are filled with news on a daily basis. In the section 'A call about' we ask one of our employees to tell us more about a relevant and topical subject within the university. The answers give you more insight into the facts, but above all give you more personal background information. You can read all about it in 'A call about'.