The National Student Survey (NSE)
All students in the Netherlands are invited to take part in the National Student Survey (NSE) once a year. Via the NSE students can give their opinion on the positive aspects of their study programme, as well as what they think could or should be improved.
The survey consists of an online questionnaire in which students are asked to enter information about themself, their study programme and a series of study-related topics.
Most questions are relevant for all students in the Netherlands, however there are also questions about topics that we at Wageningen University find particularly important - such as study facilities, international aspects, international students, reflection, equal treatment and curriculum flexibility. In addition to closed questions, the NSE also contains open fields after each topic, in which students can explain their answers. It only takes 10 to 15 minutes to complete. You can take the survey on your computer, telephone or tablet, in English, Dutch or German. The survey takes on average 10 to 15 minutes to complete. Students can complete the NSE on their PC, phone or tablet, in Dutch, English and German.
Read more about the NSE questionnaire: National Student Survey (NSE) Questionnaire - Studiekeuze123.
All universities in the Netherlands are legally bound to participate and deliver a specified set of data to Studiekeuze123, the conductor of the NSE. For more information about this data set (such as email address and study programme) and privacy, please check NSE's privacy statement.
In addition to the above-mentioned data, starting in 2023 Wageningen University provides additional data for the NSE, namely whether the student is an international student. WU has many international students and in order to monitor and improve support and education for this group of students, information from international students is very important. WU has therefore chosen to include a block of questions in the NSE specifically for international students, in which students are asked about their satisfaction with the assistance offered by WU for example with registration, accommodation, visas and integration into Dutch society, personal supervision, the range of courses offered in English courses and the level of English of teachers and staff of WUR. As of the NSE 2023, an institute that chooses the 'International Students' question block is required to provide the attribute 'international student, yes/no'. To ensure that the correct group of students is asked the question block, it has been agreed that institutions will supply this characteristic according to their own definition. WU uses the definition 'Dutch or non-Dutch first nationality'.
After completion of the data collection, Wageningen University receives the results of the survey for our own students. Wageningen University has decided that all students participate anonymously in the questionnaire, meaning that WUR will not get data that enable us to relate answers to the questions to individual students. Therefore, the university does not receive data such as names or email addresses of students. In addition, answers from students of a population of less than five students will not be available to WUR.
What are the results for?
The results of the NSE are used to improve education and provide information for future students. This happens in various ways and at different levels, i.e. nationally, at university level, within faculties and within individual study programmes.
As soon as the results are available, we get to work: university managers, quality assurance staff, policy staff, program directors and students and staff of the program committees analyse and discuss the results. In this way, in conjunction with information from other sources of knowledge and experience, we determine what needs to be improved and, where possible, that this is addressed. For example, WU has invested in improving Student Career Services and several programs are working on activities to better prepare students for the job market, because, among other sources, the NSE revealed that students were not yet very satisfied with this.
Information for prospective students
The results of the NSE are also used as a study-choice aid for secondary school pupils, students, parents and study-choice advisers. Organisations such as Studiekeuze123, Keuzegids and Elsevier publish the results to enable prospective students to compare programmes and make the right choice.
Research and policy
Finally, organisations such as the Higher Education Inspectorate, the Ministry of Education, Culture and Science (OCW), the Expertise Centre Inclusive Education (ECIO) and the umbrella organisations for Dutch universities (UNL and VH) and researchers, use the results to monitor how student satisfaction develops. This is taken into account when making educational policy.