King’s Students’ Union campaigning to boycott the National Student Survey
Some departments were handing out cupcakes to get students to fill it in
From the posters hanging down on the walls above Sappho to the ‘Boycott the NSS!’ flyers, KCL students are passionate this year to veto the relationship between the NSS and TEF. The NSS is a survey that gets students to relate their experiences of uni life and course and place the uni in a league table, allowing the top scorers to raise tuition fees.
KCL isn’t the only university to have hate towards it however, places like Manchester, UCL and Bristol have expressed severe backlash towards the effect.
The KCLSU President Ben Hunt has about the Teaching Excellence Framework (TEF) and the NSS: “We are boycotting the NSS because it is linked to the TEF, which will raise undergraduate tuition fees for home students year on year with the line of inflation. Next year at King’s, incoming students will pay £9,250, and may well be subject to further increases.
“Another insidious aspect of the Government’s Higher Education reform is to know how institutions perform in the TEF to cut the amount of international students coming into our institutions. The aim is to reduce immigration, meaning more borders and more anti-immigrant rhetoric at a time where there is already division in the country in Higher Education.
“We oppose students having to pay more with no improvement in educational quality, we oppose a brutal attack on our international students, and we firmly oppose higher fees and the furthering of stopping education as a public good.”
The College pledged to support KCLSU’s “refusal to engage until improvements are made to TEF” in a joint statement made by Principal Ed Byrne and Ben Hunt.
The Vice-President of Education said that Faculties should not do more than send the initial email asking students to fill in the survey.
However, some departments have breached the deal by handing out cupcakes or promising to “provide £500 to the department with the highest completion rate for its final year undergraduates to spend or donate to charity.”
In response to this, Ben said:
“I would like to remind other faculties of the College and the College Education Committee’s position on which there is student representation… wasting money on cupcakes rather than actually improving the educational experience of students is at best wasteful and at worse damaging. You are going against committees which have voted, with student backing, against incentivising the NSS and the College’s joint position.”