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Title: The effectiveness of the National Student Survey and local institutional surveys as a management tool for setting effective strategies in higher education
Author: Pymount, S.
ISNI:       0000 0004 5923 2738
Awarding Body: Nottingham Trent University
Current Institution: Nottingham Trent University
Date of Award: 2016
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This thesis investigates some of the primary institutional challenges linked to the management and reporting of student satisfaction and examines how institutions use, and manage, the business intelligence arising out of student satisfaction surveys. It investigates the effectiveness of setting institutional strategies aimed at improving the student experience and, in its detail, the study assesses the extent to which principal survey instruments, primarily the National Student Survey (NSS), accurately capture the views of students. The research endeavours to undertake a critical review of the NSS enabling the thesis, based on a case study organisation, to serve as a robust tool to guide the setting of strategy aimed at improving the student experience. It investigates the extent to which the NSS accurately capture the views of the students surveyed and whether this is represented in the recorded level of satisfaction. It also looks at key stakeholders within the organisation and their understanding and reaction to the NSS process and its principal outputs. The thesis concludes that, although the NSS does capture views of students insofar as students complete the questionnaire, the survey fails at a basic level due to a number of factors. The thesis challenges the validity of the results of the survey, the conclusions drawn from the survey, and the meaning placed on them. Key stakeholders, within the case study organisation, do not fully understand and react to either the NSS process or its principal outputs and this is compounded by the students’ approach to the survey. Local institutional surveys have the potential to provide a rich source of data to complement the NSS but are not used to their full potential so represent both positive and negative responses to the limitations of the NSS. Finally, the thesis makes a number of recommendations to Universities and those academics and administrators, in charge of the strategy, management, and implementation of the annual NSS and local institutional surveys.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available