National Student Survey: the view from different disciplines

Yesterday (12th August 2015) saw the publication of the UK National Student Survey, spawning much discussion on Twitter with the hashtag #nss.  Here are just a few views collated from academics on Twitter. There’s a bit of editorial licence, of course, in the general spirit of gaming the exercise. On occasions this extends to actual substitution of quotations.

Here are some typical views from the different academic disciplines.

Statistics:  Celebrating a statistically insignificant change in historically unreliable data rendered invalid by spurious comparisons of massively different respondent pools.

Discourse analysis: Signs are small, measurable things; interpretations are illimitable (George Eliot).

Literature: If you can meet with triumph and disaster, and treat those two imposters just the same (Kipling).

Politics: The only statistics you can trust are those you falsified yourself (Churchill).

History: The problem with surveys as indicators of satisfaction is that they only capture the present.

Education: Universities with high NSS scores are failing to teach critical thinking.

Philosophy: Experience cannot be converted to a median score.

Associate Dean: Only a moron would treat this datagarbage seriously. Wait….5th nationally? Wow, seriously? Yay !


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