A student smiling whilst studying

About the NSS

What is the NSS

Nearly half a million students across the UK are invited to take part in the National Student Survey (NSS) every year.

The NSS is your opportunity to give your honest feedback about what it has been like to study on your course at your university/college. It is an influential source of public information about higher education. As a student, you have a powerful collective voice that will help shape the future of your course and your university/college for current and prospective students.

The survey is completed by final-year students at:

  • All publicly funded Higher Education universities/colleges in England, Wales, Northern Ireland, and Scotland
  • Further education colleges in England and Northern Ireland
  • Further education institutions (FEIs) in Wales (with directly funded higher education students)


Who benefits from the NSS?

Current students

Your feedback from the NSS provides universities/colleges with a picture of what the learning experience has been like for you in that year. Universities/colleges examine the anonymised NSS data internally to identify areas of strength and weakness. Your opinions can be used to help make changes that will improve the learning experience. More widely, the NSS is a key component of the regulatory landscape in the UK higher education.

Prospective students

The NSS results are made publicly available to help prospective students make informed decisions about where and what to study. Universities and colleges use the results to improve the student learning experience. NSS results are published annually on the Discover Uni website. This official site allows prospective students to compare higher education courses at different universities and colleges. Data will also be published on the OfS website.


The NSS is commissioned by the Office for Students (OfS), on behalf of the UK funding and regulatory bodies – the Higher Education Funding Council for Wales (HEFCW), the Department for Economy Northern Ireland (DfENI), and the Scottish Funding Council (SFC).

The NSS is undertaken independently by Ipsos MORI. The survey respects the privacy of the students taking part, and as such, individual responses are confidential. Please refer to the FAQs’ ‘Type of questions asked’ section for guidance on preserving your anonymity and that of others in the open-text comments.

For more information, as well as help with specific queries, please see our Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs).