FAQ about the NSE

What is the National Student Survey (NSE)?

The National Student Survey (NSE: Nationale Studenten Enquête) is a nationwide survey researching students’ satisfaction with their higher education course programme. Nearly all students in Dutch higher education are invited to participate every year. Students are asked to fill out a questionnaire on various aspects of their course programme, including its content, the skills they acquire, how well they are prepared for a career, the lecturers, the information and materials provided, the study facilities offered, testing and assessment, their programme schedule, study load and academic guidance and counselling. Student ratings give unique insights into students’ satisfaction with their higher education programmes. These insights are a great tool for prospective students looking to choose their course programme.

Read more about the NSE

Who is behind the NSE?

The National Student Survey is organised by Studiekeuze123. Studiekeuze123 is an initiative of the Dutch Ministry of Education in collaboration with students and institutes for higher education. Studiekeuze123 offers objective and reliable information about all recognised degree programmes at Dutch universities and universities of applied sciences. The research is carried out by the Dutch research institute MWM2.

Where did you get my email address and other information?

Because the university or university of applied sciences at which you study is participating in the NSE 2021, we have received your email address from your institution. In addition to your email address, your institution sends us the following information:

  • The name of your school or university (the BRIN number);
  • The location of your school or university (the BRIN serial number);
  • The title of your course programme (CROHO code);
  • The language in which you receive your invitation (Dutch, English or German);
  • Whether your programme is full-time, part-time or dual work-study;
  • Whether you are a regular, post-master or pre-master student;
  • Whether or not you are enrolled in an originally remote-learning programme;
  • The level of your course programme (HBO or WO);
  • Any characteristics labels your institution would like to use to monitor the NSE results.; for example, a specific specialisation within a bachelor’s degree programme. Your school or university may also have supplied us with a secondary email address that they can use to contact you.

All the data we collect will be deleted on 5 November 2021.

What about my privacy?

Both Studiekeuze123 and your university or university of applied sciences value your privacy very highly. For more information, see www.nse.nl/en/privacy.

What do you do with the results?

The NSE results are used for:

  • Study-selection information. Prospective students can compare the scores of different programmes on Studiekeuze123.nl.
  • Improving education. Universities and universities of applied sciences use the results to determine where they can improve their programmes.
  • National monitoring of student satisfaction. Various organisations – including the Inspectorate of Education; the Ministry of Education, Culture and Science (OCW); the Expertisecentrum inclusief onderwijs; and umbrella organisations the Association of Universities (VSNU) and Association of Universities of Applied Sciences (Vereniging Hogescholen) – use the results to monitor trends in student satisfaction over several years so that they can set their policies accordingly.
  • (Scientific) research. The NSE results are publicly available and retrievable for research purposes. On request, Studiekeuze123 will grant access to the NSE benchmark file. This is an anonymised file that does not comprise personal information.

Which parties do you share personal information with?

Studiekeuze123 processes participating students’ questionnaire results (without including email addresses) to create anonymised products and/or data files aimed at informing prospective students on course programmes, higher education quality care and academic and/or statistical research. These products and files are not traceable to individuals. Examples of these products are Studiekeuze123’s degree programme database (Studiekeuzedatabase) with the average satisfaction rates for each degree programme. Studiekeuze123 also publishes the NSE public benchmark file, which comprises all results, anonymised on an individual student level, for detailed analyses.

Studiekeuze123 does not transfer personal data to third parties without the explicit permission of the person concerned. The Dutch Expert Centre on Inclusive Education (ECIO) will receive a copy of the answers to the ‘Studying with a support need’ block of questions for purposes of research and informing prospective students on higher education course programmes. The file Studiekeuze123 sends to ECIO does NOT include personal data that can be traced back to you. ECIO only publishes aggregated data in the form of anonymised products.

I’ve lost the invitation email/link to the questionnaire. How can I participate in the NSE?

You can get a new link to the questionnaire using the lost link tool at the top of www.nse.nl/en.

Why does my invitation email include a tracking pixel?

The invitation you receive to participate in the NSE includes a tracking pixel, so we can register when you opened the email message. This enables us to measure the number of people who have opened the invitation email. This information is used for analyses in which you remain anonymous.

How can I unsubscribe from reminder emails?

If you don’t want to participate, you can find an unsubscribe link in every NSE email you receive. Click the link to unsubscribe and you won’t get any more reminders.

Can I fill out the NSE questionnaire on my smartphone?

Sure! You can fill out the NSE on your smartphone, on a tablet or a computer. You can even start it on one device and continue on another. For instance, you could start the questionnaire on your desktop computer and continue on your phone while you’re on the train. This works when you open the link from your email.

When is the deadline to take the survey?

You can take the NSE up until 14 March 2021, but please don’t leave it till the last moment. Take your time and start well before that date.

When is the prize draw?

The 2021 NSE prize winners will be drawn after the survey closes. All students who completed the questionnaire are eligible to win a prize. Winners will be notified via email in April.

I’ve already taken the survey, but I’m still getting a reminder. Why is this?

Perhaps our reminder email was sent out at or around the time your questionnaire answers came in. We’re sorry for the inconvenience. Another possibility is that you haven’t yet fully completed the questionnaire.

I’m a part-time student. Can I take the survey?

Please do! We would greatly appreciate the input of part-time students. Some questions may be slightly less relevant to your daily experiences at your university or university of applied sciences. Still, try to answer in a way that’s as close to your experiences as possible.

I’ve recently graduated/I’ve recently dropped out. Why am I being invited to take this survey?

We would appreciate your participation in the NSE because you have only quit your programme recently. We would really like to hear your opinion on the programme you were enrolled in and your university or university of applied sciences.

What if I have another question?

If you have a question about filling out the questionnaire, you can send an email to student@nse.nl. If you have a question about how your university or university of applied sciences will use NSE data, you can ask the NSE contact at your institution.