About the Student Survey
Studiebarometeret is a national student survey that are sent to more than 60 000 students each autumn. The survey asks for the students perceptions of educational quality in their study programs. The purpose of Studiebarometeret is to strenghten the quality work in higher education and give useful information about educational quality. On Studiebarometeret.no you can easily:
- find the students' evaluations of their study program
- compare results for different study programs
- see the development over time for each study program
The portal is useful for applicants, students, institutions and members of staff and others with an interest in higher education. New results are published in February each year. Studiebarometeret is initiated by the Ministry of Education and Research and conducted by the Norwegian Agency for Quality Assurance in Education (NOKUT).
The web portal
How to use the portal?
You can use this web portal to compare students’ opinions of the quality of different study programmes. From the front page you can find a specific study programme by searching for the name of the programme or the institution. The search results will give you an overview of all study programmes matching your search criteria. You can then select a study programme to view the results.
On the front page you can also choose an academic discipline or a subfield.
Index values are shown at the top of the results page and results for individual questions can be found by scrolling down the results page.
It is also possible to download data from this portal to Excel. You can download data by adding specific study programmes to the «your chosen study programmes» tab, and then click «export all to Excel». You can also click «download data sets» on the bottom of this page.
There are usually some adjustments to the questionnaire each year. For this reason there are some questions that are not comparable across all years.
What kind of information can you find at Studiebarometeret.no
The Student Survey (Studiebarometeret) contains students’ assessment of 1800 study programmes. Students answer each question using a scale from 1-5, where 5 is the highest/most favourable score. For each study programme, the Student survey contains the following information:
- The average score for each question, calculated from the answers from students attending the specific study programme. Results are shown both as indexes (groups of related questions) and for individual questions. You can read more about indexes below.
- Detailed results for each question for each study programme, including distribution, number of respondents and standard deviation.
- Historical data for up to the four most recent surveys. We do not show time series for programmes where we have aggregated response data.
- Average results within the corresponding subject group the study programme belongs to.
- Facts about the study programmes. These include number of credits, total number of students, whether the study programme offers work placement, teaching language and organisation (campus-based, decentralised, web-based).
- Link to the web page of the HEI offering the specific study programme.
Threshold values and merging results
Threshold values for publication in the web portal
NOKUT’s threshold value for publishing data in the web portal is over 9 respondents and a response rate of more than 19.5% for each study programme. Alternatively, the programme can have between 6 and 9 respondents if the response rate is over 49.5%. Threshold values have been put in place to ensure that published data are robust, and that students who have answered the survey remain anonymous.
Merging results the last two years
Many study programmes are very small, and consequently seldom reach the threshold values. In order to increase the number of study programmes shown on studiebarometeret.no, we merge results from the last two years if the programme had at least one respondent in the most recent year. If the combined results cause the programme to reach the threshold value, we publish results from the programme in the portal.
On studiebarometeret.no we indicate that data have been merged with the text “the numbers for 201# and 201# have been merged due to too few respondents in 201#”. When numbers have been merged, the reported number of respondents and response rates are based on both years. However, we do not show time series for merged data, as the programmes do not reach the threshold value for a given year.
Changes in the questionnaire
Due to changes in the questionnaire (from year to year), we are not able to show results for all questions when we merge data. Omitted questions are marked with a ‘-‘ in place of response values. For more information about changes to the questionnaire, see the text below “The student survey”.
Studiebarometeret contains seven indices showing aggregated results for questions on related topics. These are: learning environment, student participation, inspiration, vocational relevance, teaching, student evaluation and learning outcomes. You can see which questions are included in each index by clicking the index name on the results-page of studiebarometeret.no.
The results score for each index is the average of the score for the individual questions included in the index. Questions are weighted equally. Questions are included in an index based on thematic relatedness and on results from statistical analyses.
If the questionnaire goes through considerable changes from one year to another, it is not possible to compare the indices over time. In such cases, we provide a short explanatory text instead of numerical scores in the viewer for “historical data”, with a dash (“-“) for each individual question.
Subfields and subject groups, and calculating averages
The web portal groups study programmes according to disciplines, subfields, and subject groups.
These categorisations correspond to Statistics Norway’s (SSB) Norwegian Standard Classification of Education (NUS). Every study programme is categorised according to the NUS coding scheme, with disciplines as the topmost category. The eight main discipline categories are displayed on the front page of studiebarometeret.no. Each discipline contains several subfields, Narrow fields (shown beneath the discipline on the front page), and subfields are in turn divided into subject groups. The coding scheme also places study programmes according to degree level.
NOKUT receives information about the study programmes’ NUS-code from the institutions, and only changes these when there are obvious errors. NUS-codes are sent to NOKUT ahead of each survey.
We present averages for the type of education the programme belongs to, in the following way:
- If the programme belongs to a subject group with a sufficiently high number of programmes, and with enough respondents, we show the averages for the programme’s Detailed field.
- If there are too few programmes with enough respondents in the Detailed field, we show the averages for the relevant Narrow field.
- If there are too few programmes with enough respondents in the Narrow field as well, we show no score averages.
- In order for us to display score averages (for fields), at least four study programmes need to reach the threshold value for publication in the web portal.
Only Bachelor’s programmes are used to calculate averages for a field at the Bachelor’s degree level. This applies equally to Master’s programmes. Consequently, national averages will differ across degree levels within a field.
Students estimate how they allocate their time by writing numerical values in text fields in the Student Survey. As a result, these questions differ from those in the rest of the survey, where students can only answer along a more limited scale (1-5, or “do not know”). The text fields do not allow the input of values above 80. NOKUT does not remove outliers (extreme values) or manipulate the data in any way.
NOKUT’s data on study programmes includes information about whether programmes are full- or part-time. Part-time students will usually spend less time on studies compared to students enrolled in full-time programmes. The web portal indicates each programme’s “percentage of full-time” as part of the information about workload.
Questions on vocational training
Who have had vocational training?
We ask all students in the survey whether they have had vocational training / work placement (yes/no). Only respondents who select “yes” receive questions on their experience with vocational training / work placement.
Criteria for displaying vocational training responses in the web portal
The same group of students may have differing opinions on what constitutes vocational training, and consequently on whether or not they have had vocational training.
To ensure that only responses from study programmes where the students have actually had vocational training are included for these questions, NOKUT uses the following selection criteria: a minimum of six individuals in the study programme must have answered at last three out of seven vocational training questions, and these individuals must comprise a minimum of 49.5% of those who have answered the Student survey. That is, at least half of the respondents in a programme must have selected “yes” for the opening question “Have you received vocational training organized by your study programme?” Additionally, at least six of these respondents must have answered a minimum of three out of seven question on vocational training. The criteria is crosschecked with other available information, and is robust.
Programmes without data on vocational training in the portal
For study programmes that do not have scores for vocational practice, we display the text «Not enough data/no vocational practice training” in the portal.
Why did NOKUT create Studiebarometeret?
NOKUT administers and maintains the national Student Survey and its associated web portal, studiebarometeret.no, as mandated by the Norwegian Ministry of Education and Research. The purpose of the portal is to provide concise and user-friendly information about students’ opinion of the quality of education offered at Norwegian higher education institutions. This information is meant to help strengthen the further development of quality in higher education, and to provide applicants with useful information that can help them to choose between different study programs and campuses.
The target audience for the Studiebarometeret includes:
- Institutions offering higher education
- Higher education applicants
- The Government
- Other parties interested in higher education
One of NOKUT’s core mandates is to promote quality in higher education. NOKUT’s work is also meant to help ensure that society as a whole can be confident in the quality of Norway’s higher education. The Studiebarometeret is an important tool for promoting and spreading knowledge of the quality of education.
If you have any questions or comments about the Studiebarometeret, feel free to contact us at Studiebarometeret@nokut.no. Alternatively, you can contact the following persons directly:
Director of Analysis and Development
Phone: +47 21 02 18 29
Lars Fredrik Pedersen
Senior Advisor, Department of Analysis and Development
Phone: +47 41 28 12 04
Senior Advisor, Department of Analysis and Development
Phone: +47 92 08 46 71
The survey contains questions about students’ opinion on the quality of different aspects of their study programme. Questions concern the study programme the student is enrolled in, not the institution or specific courses. All students receive the same questionnaire, independent of their study programme. The survey takes approximately 10-12 minutes to complete, provided the student does not provide extensive comments when answering. Students can complete the survey in Norwegian, English, or Sami.
The questionnaire can be downloaded by clicking the link below:
Changes in the questionnaire
We continuously seek to improve the questions in the survey, in order to make them as precise and succinct as possible. At the same time, in order to preserve the basis for comparison and analysis over time, we wish to keep the questions as similar as possible from year to year. You can see an overview of the survey’s core questions displayed in bar charts on studiebarometeret.no/en/.
We keep 3/4 of the questionnaire the same each year, while 1/4 can be changed. This means that we can take whole question batteries (sets of related questions) in or out of the questionnaire, depending on what we wish to focus on in a given year. This system, using alternating batteries, also means that we can ask the same questions at different intervals (for example on a biennial basis). Changes are made in consultation with the education sector, for example through our consultation group. In 2015 a working group, consisting of three participants from the Norwegian Association of Higher Education Institutions (UHR), contributed to changes in the questionnaire with the aim of improving the survey’s usefulness to quality assurance work at the institutions. We also evaluate questions in interviews with students.
Changes in 2019
In the 2019 questionnaire, a number of new questions about supervised professional training (work placement) have been added. As usual, it is only students who answer "Yes" to questions if they have had supervised professional training (work placement) that receive more questions on that topic.
Changes have also been made in the battery of questions about working life relevance. The questions "I get competence that is important in working life" and "It is well prepared that I can make contacts in the working life" has been removed, and four new questions have been taken in.
We have reduced the number of questions about the alert system in case of harassment from three to one. The three questions we had on the topic correlated highly. We kept the question that is best able to say something about the institutions having done something actively to inform the students about the notification system.
Except from these changes, the questionnaire is unchanged from the previous year.
New questions and topics are based on input from the sector and the reference group, as well as NOKUT's own input and analyzes. This year's choice of specialization theme in the survey is based on NOKUT's focus on practice through the project Operation Practice and the forthcoming parliamentary report on work relevance.
Proposals for new questions are tested both qualitatively and quantitatively before they are possibly included in the questionnaire. The qualitative testing consists of focus group interview with students. The quantitative testing consists of surveys of several thousand students with subsequent analysis of the answers. Both qualitative and quantitative testing provide valuable information and are an important part of the preparation of questions.
Changes in 2018
Most of the questionnaire in 2018 is unchanged compared to 2017, but some changes were made:
- The questions from 2017 about internationalisation were removed.
- Several questions about upper secondary education and the transition to higher education were added.
- The questions about teaching, feedback and academic councelling, student participation and working life relevance have been changed and improved.
- The two questions about goals/grades were removed.
Changes in 2017
Most of the questionnaire was left unchanged. However, NOKUT did make a few alterations, based on feedback from institutions and the consultation group as well as our own analyses. Based on the feedback, NOKUT created new questions and conducted a validation of the new question. This was done by an electronic survey among students (670 respondents) and two focus group interviews with students. The validation was valuable and led to some adjustments. The survey for 2017 is about the same length as the survey for 2016, and shorter than the survey for 2015.
The following changes were made:
- Norwegian Agency for Digital Learning in Higher Education (NUV) and NOKUT have developed a new inventory of questions about the use of digital tools in higher education. The questions are different from last year’s survey. Last year’s survey had an additional survey about the use of digital tools and media in education. This addition will not be included this year.
- Proba research is conducting a survey on barriers in higher education for students with disabilities. The Student Survey for 2017 will contain a question asking the students if they are willing to participate in the survey from Proba research.
- The Norwegian Centre for International Cooperation in education (SIU) and NOKUT have developed several new questions about internationalisation in higher education. These questions replace last year’s questions on the same topic. The questions about internationalisation are filtered based on the student’s responses. For example, Norwegian students who have studied abroad will get different questions from international students studying in Norway.
- For 2017, the institutions can select up to two inventories of questions from a list of four additional/selectable inventories:
- A) Extent of feedback and academic supervision
- B) Satisfaction with feedback and academic supervision
- C) Teaching and learning methods – usage
- D) Teaching and learning methods – contribution
The first two inventories were also part of the Student Survey in 2015. The last two inventories have been a standard part of the Student Survey for the last three years. If the institution chooses not to include any of the four selectable inventories, the survey will be shorter than last year’s survey.
- The inventory “study environment” from last year’s survey has been split in two. The questions remain unchanged, except for one question, which has been moved to a different inventory (“organisation of the study programme”).
- There is a new inventory called “organisation of the study programme”.
- The inventory “student assessment” has had a major change. Only two of the five previous questions has been kept, and we have introduced four new questions.
- Time spent on academic activities: The explanatory text has been changed.
Changes in 2016
Most of the questionnaire was left unchanged in 2016. However, NOKUT did make a few alterations, based on feedback from institutions and the consultation group as well as our own analyses. We added some questions and removed other. In sum, however, the questionnaire was somewhat shorter than in 2015.
The major changes for 2016 were as follows:
- In relation to a pilot project, in cooperation with Norwegian Agency for Digital Learning in Higher Education (Norgesuniversitetet), we added a battery of questions on the use of technology in education. Additionally, we offered respondents the option of answering an extra set of questions from Norgesuniversitetet’s survey «Digital tilstand», accessed through a separate link (see under question battery 16 in the questionnaire).
- We added a battery of questions on internationalisation. The questions were developed in cooperation with the Norwegian Centre for International Cooperation in Education (SIU). These questions mostly measure the extent of internationalisation rather than the quality, as opposed to most of the other questions in the survey. The questions are therefore not directly comparable to results from other batteries.
- The two batteries of questions on «scope of feedback and advising» and «satisfaction with feedback and advertising» were taken out. The battery on “importance for overall assessment of the study programme” was also removed.
- Questions on "students’ expectations regarding their studies" from 2015 were changed to "(student’s impression of) expectations from academic staff".
- We made some changes in the battery on working life relevance. Consequently, the score for the index variable was lower compared to previous years: we included a question on cooperation with workplaces in the labour market, and combined two questions on knowledge and skills into one question on workplace relevant competence. Our assessment is that the changes have improved the index, and has ensured that it covers the topic of working life relevance better than previous versions.
Changes in 2015
The major changes to the questionnaire in 2015 were as follows:
- We removed three question batteries: Reasons behind choice of study programme, Student exchange abroad, and Work relevance (whether your job is relevant to your studies).
- We included four new question batteries: Scope of feedback and academic supervision, Satisfaction with feedback and academic supervision, Expectations, and Importance for overall assessment of the study programme.
- We removed three questions on Time allocation: (time spent on) Studies in total, Unpaid work related to studies and Other unpaid work.
- We added two questions on Study- and learning environments: The relationship between students and academic staff and Administration and information.
- NOKUT exchanged the term «teachers» with «academic staff», and provided clarification of the terminology: “By academic staff, we are referring to teachers, teaching assistents, lab assistents and other academic staff contributing to teaching.”
Participation in the national Student Survey is voluntary for both institutions and students. Our goal is to include all study programmes at the bachelor’s and master’s degree level with a duration of at least 3 years. This includes 5- and 6-year vocational education such as teaching programmes, lecturer programmes, civil engineering programmes, medicine, veterinary medicine, etc.
The survey also encompasses more or less all Norwegian institutions offering bachelor’s and/or master’s degree programmes. A small number of private institutions and military academies do not participate.
The survey goes out on an annual basis to 2nd-year bachelor’s students, 2nd-year master’s students, and to 2nd and 5th-year students enrolled in master’s programmes with a duration of five years or more. Students on leave of absence are not included in the population.
Every year we send the survey to students in their 2nd (5th) year of study on their programme. Consequently, we do not follow the same individuals over time.
In autumn 2019 the survey encompassed approximately 66 000 students across around 1800 study programmes.
The survey is conducted annually during October-November. We publish the results on studiebarometeret.no in the beginning of February the following year.
NOKUT collects students’ contact information and data on which study programme they belong to from the institutions. Each student receives a link to their individual questionnaire via email and SMS. Additionally, students may log in to their questionnaire either by password, via links provided on learning platforms such as Fronter and It’s learning, and via social media such as Facebook. The survey can be answered on PCs, tablets and smartphones.
After collection, the response data is mined, quality tested, and adapted for publication.
In 2018 approximately 31 000 students answered the survey. This gives a response rate of about 48 percent. The response rates for previous years are 48 percent, 45 percent, 47 percent, 42 percent and 32 percent, for 2017, 2016, 2015, 2014 and 2013, respectively.
For study programmes with few respondents in the most recent year, we combine the results with those from the preceding year. A number of the programmes will then have enough respondents for them to be displayed in the portal.
The response rate vary greatly at the institutional level, ranging from 85 percent to 29 percent in 2018 for all institutions with at least 100 students. Most of the largest institutions have a response rate of around 40 percent.
The response rate for each study programme is shown in the results page.
NOKUT works continuously in order to improve and further develop the implementation of the national student survey and studiebarometeret.no.
We appreciate all feedback on potential improvements! For questions or comments about the Student Survey, please contact us at: Studiebarometeret@nokut.no