The government’s Higher Education White Paper, Success As A Knowledge Economy, proposes reforms which, if implemented, will pave the way for the end of public higher education as we know it. Higher, variable fees will be introduced; private providers will be given help into the market as public universities are allowed to collapse; and “teaching excellence” will be measured on the basis of “student satisfaction” and the kinds of jobs graduates go into–rather than good quality teaching. NUS is organising a national sabotage of the National Student Survey as part of a strategy to resist these reforms. Get your SU to organise a local sabotage of the NSS by passing this motion at your SU Council!
- The government’s May 2016 White Paper outlined extensive reforms to higher education.
- The flagship reform, the Teaching Excellence Framework (TEF), will rely on data from the National Student Survey (NSS) and Destination of Leavers from Higher Education (DLHE) survey.
- Institutions which score highly in the TEF will be able to raise fees in line with inflation from 2017-19, followed by even higher level fees in 2019-20. (1)
- NUS is mandated to organise a national boycott or sabotage of NSS and DLHE as part of a strategy against the reforms.
- The reforms fundamentally attack the idea of education as a public service.
- There are many reasons to oppose NSS, e.g. that it systematically discriminates against BME academics. (2)
- Sabotaging NSS and DLHE will disrupt the introduction of TEF, giving us leverage.
- A local-organised boycott/sabotage should only be done as part of a national boycott/sabotage organised by NUS.
- To organise a boycott/sabotage of NSS and DLHE, including:
- Refusing to promote NSS or have any pro-NSS material with the SU logo on;
- In term one 2016 running a campaign collecting pledges from finalists to boycott/sabotage the NSS;
- Working with UCU to discourage NSS promotion by academics and encourage academics to actively promote the sabotage instead;
- Promoting the sabotage through posters, leafleting, door-knocking and social media especially when the survey is released;
- Taking part in national actions and demonstrations linked to the NSS boycott/sabotage.
- To work with the University and UCU to create a local, non-metric-focused alternative to NSS to assess and thereby improve students’ learning experiences.