Warwick tries to allure students out of NSS boycott

They’re offering to put £5 on our eating cards

Warwick University are offering £5 on your Eating at Warwick card to any student who fills out the NSS form within the first four weeks of it opening (before 6th March).

The £5 enticement is aimed to “encourage you to complete the survey”, and comes in response to the boycott of the NSS organised by Warwick SU.

The new system of the National Student Survey and Teaching Excellence Framework means that universities are organised into Bronze, Silver or Gold ratings by the Teaching Excellence Framework (TEF). This is a system which gives scores to each university using a set of measurements.

One of these measurements is how well the university scores on the National Student Survey, a survey filled out by finalists each year about their experience at their university, and this should be used by the university to improve the experience of future students.

When a university is given a Bronze, Silver or Gold rating, this determines how much it can raise its tuition fees by. Therefore, the results of the NSS will have a direct impact upon rising tuition fees, through the TEF, something which the SU is very against.

The National Union of Students (NUS) have issued a statement against the TEF, suggesting that “the government is creating a forced market of institutions charging different prices for degrees”. This could result in the devaluing of various degrees of graduates coming from Bronze standard institutions.

A full boycott of the NSS, beginning on 6th of January and ending in April, when the survey closes, has been called by both the National Union of Students and the University and Colleges Union (UCU).

The NUS here acts on behalf of students, whilst the UCU acts on behalf of 110,000 university staff in the UK, who agree that “linking the TEF to an increase in fees will only lead to a worse deal for students. The introduction of the TEF in its proposed form will accelerate the marketisation of our sector, entrench inequality and damage the UK’s academic reputation.”

UCU go on to say that “Just as NUS has given UCU strong support in its struggle for fair pay and better job security for staff, UCU will support NUS in its fight against the increase in tuition fees and its link to TEF.”

Warwick Student Union, among fleets of others, has announced a university wide boycott of the NSS under the belief that the new system of the NSS will lead to rising tuition fees and not benefit students.

Warwick SU President, Luke Pilot had this to say on the matter: “Ever since the inception of the NSS, universities around the country have offered students various ‘incentives’ to fill it out, a tactic which seems especially cynical this year when so much is at stake.

“Our message to students is clear: a short-term bribe is not worth the long-term damage that the government’s HE proposals are set to wreak. Given the millions of pounds that students will collectively end up shelling out in the event of another tuition fee hike, £5 of Eating at Warwick credit is also an exceptionally low price to sell ourselves out for.

“We therefore once again urge finalists to see past such short-term incentives and boycott this year’s National Student Survey.”