May 16, 2008

Minister vows action on 'falsified' student survey

The Government has promised to act if reports that students are being pressed to give falsely enthusiastic responses to an official survey prove true after staff at London's Kingston University were recorded doing so.

Innovation, Universities and Skills Secretary John Denham was pressed at Commons question time over allegations that the National Student Survey was being "falsified". Mr Denham said he took the claims "very seriously" and "utterly condemned" the practice, adding that action would be taken if any breaches were found.

Students from a range of universities are claiming they are being pressed to make falsely enthusiastic responses to the survey. Staff at Kingston University were recorded telling students to falsify their ratings of the institution.

Hundreds of students have e-mailed the BBC News website claiming this is a more widespread problem.

The National Student Survey, set up by the funding council (Hefce), provides a league table of student satisfaction, which is intended to be useful for young people choosing a university.

Raising the issue in the Commons, Tory David Evennett asked: "Given that the National Student Survey is endorsed by the Government and funded by the taxpayer, what action will ministers be taking to investigate recent claims that records have been falsified."

Mr Denham told the Bexleyheath and Crayford MP: "I take those allegations very seriously.

"The evidence, such as it is, is that this is a very isolated example of students apparently being encouraged to rate their institution more highly than they might have done unprompted. I utterly condemn it."

But also worth checking: Universities face survey warning

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Maybe the minister would also like to take cases of alleged workplace bullying seriously as well...

... or do these not matter...

... I could write and tell him about my case if he is interested....

Aphra Behn