Leave Your Mark: Take part in the National Student Survey 2015

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2nd February sees the launch of the National Student Survey (NSS) 2015 at Hull College Group. Entering its eleventh year, the NSS is your opportunity to give your opinions on what you liked about your time on your course at Hull College Group, as well as things that you felt could have been improved.

The NSS is an annual survey of mostly final year undergraduates in England, Northern Ireland, Wales and Scotland. It is a high profile annual census of nearly half a million students across the UK, which gives students a powerful collective voice to help shape the future of both their course and university or college.

The survey is part of a Higher Education quality assurance system to generate more detailed public information about teaching quality. It is widely recognised as an authoritative measure of student satisfaction and as such the results are highly visible on Key Information Sets (KIS) and on Unistats, and often reported in the media. It has helped to build a broader picture of the quality of higher education in the UK and has made it possible to monitor trends over time. The NSS is commissioned by the Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE). Ipsos MORI, an independent research company, conducts the survey.

The questions allow you to provide feedback on a range of topics, relating to six aspects of your learning experience, including what you thought about the Academic Support you received during your studies and how you felt about the Organisation and Management of your course. You will also be asked about your overall student satisfaction and satisfaction with your students’ union, association or guild. There is space at the end for any positive and/or negative comments you have about your experience if you wish to expand on anything. What did you think about the teaching on your course? Were you satisfied with the way cancelled lectures were communicated? What were your thoughts on the advice and support available through your course? Were resources available? Write it down and let us know!

You are eligible for the NSS if you are a Higher Education final year undergraduate or are on a flexible part-time programme. If your final year cannot easily be predicted, you will be surveyed during your fourth year of study. If you were due to be in your fourth/final year in 2015 but have withdrawn or are repeating your penultimate year, you are also eligible to take part.



Student feedback provides institutions with a clear picture of what the learning experience was like for those completing their course in that year. Institutions and students’ unions examine the anonymised NSS data internally to identify areas of strengths and weaknesses. This information can be used to help effect changes designed to enhance or improve the student experience for both current and prospective students. More widely, the NSS informs the Higher Education Quality Assurance System to generate information about teaching quality.

Hull College Group has been participating in the NSS for 3 years and as a result of listening to what former students had to say, the following changes have been implemented at Hull College Group:

  • We installed higher specification computers for specialist courses which required them.
  • You wanted more academic support, so the HE Learning Mentor is now working full-time in Hull & Harrogate College.
  • You wanted better library resource, so we set out plans for more funding.
  • You wanted more social spaces, so we improved the High Street Common Room and opened a new social room for Higher Education students in the Digital and Climate Centre.
  • You wanted better internet access, so we increased the availability of the college network across all sites.


During the first week of February eligible Higher Education students from Hull, Goole and Harrogate College will be sent an invitation email to complete the survey by Ipsos MORI. Later non-respondents may be contacted by post or ultimately by telephone, so fill it in early to avoid further reminders.

You can complete the NSS online or via a mobile device at www.thestudentsurvey.com at any time from 12 January 2015 to 30 April 2015. You may opt out of the survey at any point during fieldwork.

Alternatively, you can find a member of the Students’ Union team at the NSS Hub in the HE Centre! We’ll be there from 9AM-4PM weekdays with any questions, or we’ll get you started on a survey using one of our computers or tablets!

If you want further information of the National Student Survey – please don’t hesitate to contact us!

Volunteering Opportunities at HCSU!


Do you want to gain valuable experience during your studies at Hull, Goole or Harrogate College? We’re looking for a new team of volunteers from retail to marketing, the is something for everybody!

To apply please fill out the form below:
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Learning & Teaching Awards

We want to celebrate those tutors who help us in and out of the classroom, and recognize their hard work and commitment to students by nominating them for a Learning & Teaching Award – as a thank you for helping us. In addition, we are also running nominations for HE Student Research where we recognize and acknowledge students who have undertaken incredible research as part of their degree.

All nomination forms must be submitted either to emma@hcsu.co.uk or neil.harding@hull-college.ac.uk by 4:30pm on Friday 14th June 2014

You can download your nomination form here:

HE Learning & Teaching Awards Nomination Form

HE Student Research Nomination Form

All awards will be presented at the HE Research Conference in July – we’ll keep you posted on the successful winners of the Awards!


Handbook Design Competition

Do you want to see your design on next year’s Student Journal?

Following last year’s winner, Andrew Tobias from FdA Lens Based Photo Media, who designed the HE Student Journal (2013 – 2014) – we’re holding a competition for the best cover design to go on the FE & HE Student Journal for 2014 – 2015.

This year’s theme is: “What is Equality and Diversity to you?”  based on our Equality, Diversity and Citizenship week (w/c 12th May 2014). It is up to you how you interpret that question in the front cover design; whether this is a photograph or digital illustration on your interpretation – it’s time for you to get creative!

The best design will be printed on the next Academic year’s Student Journal with your name on and win £50 in gift vouchers!

Some guidelines for you to follow:

  • All entries must be designed on the cover layout and electronically submitted to competition@hcsu.co.uk by Wednesday 4th June 2014 at 4pm. Any entries submitted afterwards will not be accepted.
  • You cannot use any of the Hull College Group branding, Hull College Students’ Union branding or any copyrighted material – this must be your own produced work.
  • The competition is open to all students in Hull, Harrogate and Goole.

Download the cover template (with exact dimensions) here

Visual Information on College Finances

Hull College Students’ Union are currently working with the College to help look at how we can make financial information about the College available for students. This is based on the work of HEFCE on which a recent survey revealed 40% of students who looked for this information were unable to find it, while once the information was found, 44% of students reported that the format it was presented in was difficult to understand.

We want students’ feedback on how we can improve this for students – we are setting up focus groups to have a discussion on this but also wanted students to complete a very short survey on some examples of visual aspects of finances.

If you have any queries, you may email me on emma@hcsu.co.uk. Further information can be found here

Hull Student Manifesto

With the upcoming Local & European Elections – it’s important that students’ understand that they have a voice that they can empower to help today’s society. In the 2010 General Elections – only 44% of registered 18 – 24 year olds voted. Quite scary to see how under-represented we can be, hence why we’re working as hard as ever to encourage that you, as students and young people, can be the change.

We have been working with Hull University Union to create the Student Manifesto with the aim to help Hull City Council develop policies and programmes to make Hull a better place to live, work and study for its many students and young people. It focuses on five key areas: representation; education; public services; employment; and housing.

Have a read and if you are registered to vote – remember to cast your vote on 22nd May 2014 at your local Polling Station!

Park Street’s Got Talent!

Do you have a talent you would love to show us – singing, dancing, magic tricks or something that hasn’t been attempted on Britian’s Got Talent? (As long as it’s safe!!)

On Thursday 15th May from 2pm until 4pm, we will be holding Park Street’s Got Talent as part of Equality, Diversity and Citizenship Week. The event will be held at Park Street campus (behind St Stephens) and this event is open to all students in Hull regardless of which site you are from – so show us some moves from Horncastle or perhaps Cannon Street has some tricks up their sleeves – Ok… I’ll stop with the terrible puns…

All you have to do is register online here with a short description of your talent – we will contact you on Thursday 8th May with your time slot for the event so please ensure your email address is correct.

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Course Rep Survey

As you may or may not be aware, this is our first year having a formalized structure for Reps that has included training and regular meetings with the Students’ Union.

It’s been quite successful this year but we also know that there’s areas of improvement too. I would really appreciate it if you complete this survey where we’re asking for your feedback on your experience of being a Course Rep.
It’s all anonymous and we’ll listen to all your comments on how we can improve for next year.
I just want to say thank you all for being great reps this year – I’ve really enjoyed working with you all and best wishes for the future!