Graduate School of Social Sciences

NSE 2018: Decrease in student satisfaction nationwide, including at the UvA

28 June 2018

The extent to which UvA students are satisfied with their degree programmes has decreased. In the period from February to May of this year, some 8,500 students took part in the National Student Survey (NSE). The participating students gave the UvA a score of 3.99 on a 5-point scale. Last year’s result was 4.03. The average among other Dutch universities has dipped as well from 4.09 to 4.06.

This nationwide decrease in student satisfaction may be due to the fact that this year’s survey contained an additional request for consent. In connection with the GDPR, students were given the choice to participate anonymously or consent to submitting personal data to the educational institution. It is reasonable to assume that the request for consent negatively influenced the NSE score, as virtually every university saw its score drop by the same margin compared to last year.

Anonymous opinions were more negative

The exact extent to which the request for consent affected the university’s score is unclear. It is evident, however, that students who took part anonymously assigned considerably lower scores to all topics on the NSE. On average, anonymous respondents scored their degree programme 0.24 points lower than respondents who did not participate anonymously. The UvA’s overall satisfaction score had previously risen by 0.21 between 2011 and 2018.

Overall score (anonymous/not anonymous)

Of the UvA students who took part in the NSE, 27.1 per cent indicated their wish to do so anonymously. This percentage was 27.6 nationwide.

Assessment per topic

The NSE is a vital tool that has served as the basis for many improvement initiatives in recent years. In combination with other student satisfaction measurements implemented by the UvA, the NSE results will be subjected to extensive UvA-wide analysis.

The results of the NSE will also be explored within the National Student Survey platform, which brings together representatives from faculties and support services to discuss each another’s analyses of the results and share best practices.

Score algemeen oordeel per thema

General opinion per topic

More about the NSE

On Thursday, 28 June, the results of the 2018 NSE were published on the website www.studiekeuze123.nl.

Published by  University of Amsterdam