Student - January 29, 2016

What is the National Student Survey?

Hoger Onderwijs Persbureau

More than 700,000 students were recently invited to fill in the National Student Survey. They were lured with a chance to win six months’ tuition fees or a 25 euro gift token. But what exactly is the National Student Survey?

What is this survey about?

Your degree programme. You get asked about all sorts of things, from your teachers’ expertise to the availability of desks in the library. In each case students can say whether they are very satisfied, very dissatisfied, or somewhere in between.

What is it for?

School students and their parents can use the results to compare degree programmes. Once they have decided on law, economics or a teacher training programme, they still have to decide which university to go to. Thanks to the NSE they can find out where students are satisfied and where they are not. But the degree programmes themselves can take the results to heart too. If students complain about their timetables, for example, they could do something about them.

Where are the results published?

They are published on, where the people choosing degree courses can compare them. The student degree guide Keuzegids and the weekly magazine Elsevier make use of them too. Degree programmes are also obliged to report student satisfaction levels in their prospectus.

Could it work against me if I’m critical?

You are always anonymous because the degree programmes are not allowed to trace the answers back to individual students. If your degree programme suddenly gets a bad press, it could affect how much your degree is worth. But the programme would have to make a real mess of things to score that badly.

Is the survey objective?

Well, what does a student mean if he says he is ‘satisfied’ with a teacher rather than ‘very satisfied’? The results don’t speak for themselves, you have to interpret them. But altogether the answers do provide a lot of information. What is perhaps more interesting is which questions the students get asked and which they don’t. The student organizations ISO and LSVb have to negotiate that with universities and private education institutions, so it is quite political. In the old days they used to ask how many hours a week students spent on their coursework so it was clear which degree programmes were the lightest. That question was ditched. HOP, Bas Belleman

Can I take part?

Students (including part-time ones) can fill in the survey until 6 March. If you graduated or dropped out recently you can take part if you received an invitation. More questions? Go to