Student expectations and the NSS: action planning at Northumbria University Library: a case study

Dilys Young

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Downloads (Pure)


As with many other universities, Northumbria listens to its students and strives to use their feedback to improve services and the student experience. It has a tradition of strong links with its students’ union and an award-winning student representation system ensures that students have a wide range of opportunities for providing feedback. This is becoming ever more important in a market place increasingly driven by fees, graduate contributions and the rising expectations that come with higher payments and student debt. Future developments including the requirement of universities to publish data about services more widely and the forthcoming student charter which will articulate student entitlements more clearly are key drivers in addressing issues which affect the student learning experience. Encouraging feedback is second nature at Northumbria university library, and evidence from students is continuously used to improve existing services and develop new ones. For us, the National Student Survey (NSS) is a key survey that we use to identify both best practice and improvement areas which will increase not only our own score on the ‘library’ questions but also impact on the overall rating of the university itself. Of course there are many critics of the NSS: its limitations being seen in some quarters to outweigh its insights, however at Northumbria we recognise that many issues raised by student in the NSS also resonate with other feedback mechanisms we use e.g. our internal survey and the external findings of the International Student Barometer (ISB). We therefore look at the overall picture of what the various methodologies offer to enable us to make judgements about where to focus our energies and interventions.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)9-10
JournalSCONUL Focus
Publication statusPublished - 2011


Dive into the research topics of 'Student expectations and the NSS: action planning at Northumbria University Library: a case study'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this