There’s a student protest against the NSS today
The Student Assembly Against Austerity are demonstrating from 9am-1pm
Today, Tessa Marshall and other students belonging to the Student Assembly Against Austerity are demonstrating on the plaza outside Essentials, asking all final year students to join the boycott of the NSS (the National Student Survey). They’re calling for Kent Union to adopt the boycott as policy and stand up for, inform and defend fellow students.
In previous years the survey has been used to reflect student satisfaction, but this year it’s being used as a tool to increase tuition fees and reflect teaching standards as part of the Higher Education and Research Bill. The NSS will be used to implement the TEF – the Teaching and Excellence Framework, which is part of the Bill.
The survey was never designed to reflect teaching standards, but it will nonetheless be used to categorise universities into Gold, Silver and Bronze brackets based on their teaching standards, allowing them to increase fees in line with their bracket level. This means by 2020 fees could be as high as £12,000. Certain courses will disappear due to typically low levels of graduate employment (classics, arts and humanities are all at risk), and an emphasis will be placed on ‘money making’ degrees such as medicine, law and business. This is without even mentioning the impact higher fees could have on minority students who already face difficulty getting into and through university.
In the UK we already graduate with higher levels of debt than our European counterparts. This bill is clearly only a means for private companies to gain better access to University assets and for the government to tighten its grip on what can and can’t be taught at Universities.
SAAA is protesting today because they want Kent Union to have told you this already, and they want students to be aware that this is what our data is being used for. Join them on the plaza between 9am and 1pm to learn more and sign on to the campaign.