From 23 to 26- the new NSS normal

We don’t have to lose our admirable commitment to the broader lives of our members, or access to decision makers, or funding opportunities. But we must accept it’s a different frame, which requires different people, with different skills.

3 responses to “From 23 to 26- the new NSS normal

  1. I hate the idea that the old Q23 chained SUs to one dimensional thinking and action – it didn’t. Doing things that matter to and benefit students, doing them well and telling students about the work generates satisfaction and this applies to all areas of Unions’ operations.

    In the absence of a wider set of questions to measure different aspects of a Union’s performance, Q23 provided a good proxy measure with a robust base to give Unions an accurate, benchmarked picture of general member sentiment – something widely unavailable to many Unions elsewhere. By narrowing the focus of Q23 we have excluded much of the good work Unions do in other areas from inclusion which is a loss in my eyes.

  2. My own view is that the ship probably sailed on the old generalist Q23 ages ago when HEFCE were allowed to refocus the NSS on education rather than wider student experience, and given where we were a couple of months ago it’s a miracle that we have a question in there at all- which I think is better than being seen as optional. It’s particularly helpful given that in the wider “students involved in quality” agenda we appear to have sleepwalked into losing a massive chunk of what has been delivering BG increases for a decade- student written submission, B6 of the Quality Code etc etc

    What I do think the whole things highlights is a relative lack of coherence in the student movement’s approach to securing SU’s role and function inside the funding mix of HE- at least in England. I think Jon is right that there’s a bunch of bits and bobs of initiatives but little that feels joined up or strategic. We might look back and ask ourselves why we’ve allowed the NSS to not include wider student experience issues; why we’ve not worked harder on learning from eachother on researching the impact we have on learners; why the wider NUS P100 strategy doesn’t really cover securing funding for SUs; etc etc.


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