Inappropriate influence

The National Student Survey (NSE: Nationale Studenten Enquête) is a nationwide survey on student satisfaction. The results of the survey reflect what students think about their degree programme and their university or university of applied sciences. It’s important that your responses reflect what you really think of your programme. Your university or university of applied sciences should not influence your opinion or your responses. So what is inappropriate influence? Read more about it below.

Promoting the NSE

It’s important that as many students as possible take part in the NSE. The more students participate, the more objective the resulting information will be. This objective information about institutes of higher education and their course programmes can be used to improve the quality of Dutch education. That’s why Studiekeuze123 runs a campaign to promote the NSE to students. We encourage universities and universities of applied sciences to do the same in a neutral way. To facilitate this, we’ve drawn up some communications guidelines.

Institutes of higher education can promote the NSE through: 

  • Posting about the NSE on social media;
  • Placing posters around campus;
  • Sending emails to students;
  • Organizing prize draws to encourage students to complete the survey.

Promotional tools should use neutral language and should only serve to encourage students to take part in the NSE. Examples of neutral language are: “Your opinion matters”, “Get your voice heard” or “Take the survey and help improve the quality of higher education”.

Inappropriate influence

Influencing is not the same as promoting. When a university or school influences students, they’re encouraging them to change their responses to the NSE into something other than their personal opinion. Your institute of higher education is not allowed to influence your responses to the survey. 

Inappropriate influence can happen through: 

  • Email;
  • Face-to-face sessions;
  • Lectures or classes; 
  • Posters and other promotional tools;
  • Intranet.

When someone is trying to influence you, their message isn’t neutral. For instance, someone may advise you to give a positive response, so that your university or university of applied sciences will receive a higher rating, which in turn will make your degree more valuable. Or your institute of higher education tells you that filling out the NSE is mandatory.

What is allowed and what isn’t


  • Your school or university is allowed to run a campaign with a neutral message.
  • Students are allowed to be encouraged to take part in the NSE.
  • Your school or university is allowed to give examples of how previous NSE results have helped improve aspects of the institution and/or program.
  • Your school or university is allowed to organise designated spots for you to fill out the NSE.
  • It’s important that your privacy is ensured while you fill out the NSE. 

 Not OK

  • No one is allowed, in any way whatsoever, to encourage you to give high ratings or positive responses.
  • No one is allowed to ask you to only fill out the NSE based on what’s good and tell your school or university about areas for improvement via some other channel.
  • Your school or university is not allowed to show you a promotional video for the institution and/or course programme before you fill out the NSE.
  • Your school or university is not allowed to have a representative fill out the NSE with you.
  • No one else is allowed to fill out the NSE on your behalf.

Are you seeing inappropriate influence?

If you think your school or university is influencing students, please report it by emailing, calling +31 (0) 30 303 91 00 or using our contact form. We will process your report following a standardised protocol for (suspected) inappropriate influence.