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Decision to exclude trainee teachers from university satisfaction survey reversed


Student teachers will be asked for their views on their university courses following a last-minute intervention to support their inclusion in a national survey.

Earlier this week, it was revealed that students on university teacher-training courses would not be taking part in this year’s National Student Survey (NSS) after the government refused to meet the cost.

The National College for Teaching and Leadership – the Department for Education agency that funds teacher training – declined to pay for the inclusion of student teachers in the survey, saying it wanted to focus on its own research.

The NSS is seen as an influential tool that helps prospective students gauge the quality of courses based on the experiences of their predecessors.

One university vice-chancellor told the TES’ sister publication Times Higher Education that the decision was a “disgrace” and had been made without any consultation.

But today it emerged that the Higher Education Funding Council for England (Hefce) had taken the unusual step of funding the participation of students on university teacher training courses itself.

In a letter sent to universities, Hefce said that following talks with the National Union of Students, “on an exceptional basis” it had agreed to underwrite the cost of including student teachers in the nationwide survey.

“Hefce take the view that all students should have a voice,” the letter states. “This will ensure that eligible students can participate in the NSS.”

Related stories: 

Trainee teachers prevented from rating the quality of university courses - 6 January 2015

School Direct to train more teachers than university PGCEs from 2015 - 15 October 2014


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