Research

NUS is the leading voice on issues that affect students.

We conduct high-quality research on education funding, student support and the cost of living; the student experience in higher education; student welfare and communities; and further and higher education equality and diversity issues.

See below for our latest research, or browse a list of all NUS over the past five years here.

Latest Research

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Pound in Your Pocket NI

Students' financial experiences and wellbeing in Northern Ireland. Covers student wellbeing; financial competence; the cost of study; student support system; meeting the costs of education; student debt.

"This report shines a light on some of the significant problems facing students in trying to make ends meet...Government must invest in students – in doing so they are not only helping students but also investing in our economy and in future generations too." - Rebecca Hall, NUS-USI President


Pound in Your Pocket Wales

Students' financial experiences and wellbeing in Wales. Covers student wellbeing; financial competence; the cost of study; student support system; meeting the costs of education; student debt.

"Our challenge is now to policy makers and the education sector in Wales. Our findings have laid the groundwork." - Beth Button, NUS Wales Deputy President

Homes fit for study

Explores the state of student housing in the UK, focusing on the experiences of students in higher education, their housing choices and their experiences of the private rented sector in particular. 

"Too often, discussion on student housing is based on generalisations and assumptions...It is time for both government and universities to take a real look at the plight of student renters and others, and consider what they can do to support them and improve their experiences." - Colum McGuire, NUS Vice President Welfare

Pride and Prejudice in Education

A report looking at the experiences of LGBT+ students and staff in higher and further education.

"It is deeply concerning to see how widespread the bullying and harassment of LGBT+ students is. Every student should feel safe while at college of university. They shouldn't have to face name-calling and other bullying, or have to consider dropping out of their course because of the way they are treated by other students." - Robbiie Young and Fran Cowling, NUS' LGBT officers

2014

2014

2014

2016

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Our research publications cover the following topics:


Education funding, student support and the cost of living

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Mapping the Evidence

A report commissioned by NUS presenting an overview of the student financial support structures across further and higher education and identifying gaps in the evidence.

NUS/HSBC Finance and Debt Report

This mini-report from the NUS/HSBC series explores students' attitudes to tuition fees and debt, sources of funding, and the support students receive from home.

Broke and Broken - Postgraduate

This report takes a look at the financial situation of taught postgraduate students and considers how financial concerns shape and define the taught postgraduate student experience.

Still in the Red

A report documenting the findings of a survey of over 7,000 Scottish students’ finances and experiences of the student support system.

2012

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2010

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2010

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 2010

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EMA Satisfaction Survey 2010

NUS’ second satisfaction report documenting the effectiveness of the Education Maintenance Allowance, based on a survey of further education recipients.

Broke and Broken

A 2009 critique of the higher education funding system for undergraduate provision in England, making the case for a wide and comprehensive review of the system.

True Costs of College

Key findings and conclusions of an NUS/LSN study of the full cost to individuals of participating in further education in England and Wales.

Evaluating  Estrangement

A report examining the estrangement application process in Higher Education student finance.

2010

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2009

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2008

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2008

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Higher Education Student Experience Research

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Student Experience Research 2012:

Part 1

The first report from our extensive QAA-funded research project exploring teaching and learning in 21st Century higher education.

Student Experience Research 2012:

Part 2

The second report in our new QAA-funded series, focusing on students' experiences of and attitude towards contact hours and independent learning.

Student Experience Research 2012:

Part 3

The third report in our new QAA-funded series compares students' experiences of and attitudes to learning and teaching in different subject areas.

Student Experience Research 2012:

Part 4

The fourth report in our new QAA-funded series explores students' experiences of studying in their first year and the information available to them.

2012

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2012

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2012

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2012

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Developing Scotland's Global Citizens

Co-curricular Activity and Graduate Employability - Scottish Employers Perspectives

 Cover of 2012 NUS Scotland Study Abroad Experience and Graduate Employability

 Cover of report Developing Scotland's Graduates for the Global Economy: From Here to Where?

Co-curricular Activity and Graduate Employability: Scottish Employers’ Perspectives

Funded by the Scottish Higher Education Employability Forum (SHEEF), this report explores the link between student co-curricular activity and graduate employability in a Scottish specific context.

Study Abroad Experience and Graduate Employability: Scottish Employers’ Perspectives

Funded by the Scottish Higher Education Employability Forum (SHEEF), this report explores the link between student study abroad activity and graduate employability in a Scottish-specific context.

Developing Scotland's Graduates for the Global Economy: From Here to Where

Funded by the Scottish Government, the report explores the link between study abroad activity and subsequent impacts on graduate employability as viewed by students in further and higher education, institutional staff, and employers based in Scotland.

 

2012

2012

 2012


 

Student welfare and communities

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Placeholder Image Front cover of Living Together, Working Together report Accommodation Costs Survey 2012/13

Silently Stressed  

A research report detailing the findings of a survey into student wellbeing and mental health, funded by the Healthier Scotland (Scottish Government).

 

Students without Borders

A mapping project of international students' engagement in Scottish higher education, funded by the Scottish Government.

Living Together, Working Together

A collection of case studies illustrating the many creative intitiatives run by institutions and students' unions to address issues relating to students in the community. Co-published by NUS and UUK.


Accommodation Costs Survey

The latest instalment of the NUS/Unipol biannual survey of costs and trends in student accommodation.

2011

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2011

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2010

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2013

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Students and hate crime

Front cover for No Place for Hate - Religion and Belief report

Front cover of No Place for Hate report

No Place for Hate:

Race and Ethnicity  

The full report from our Home Office-funded research exploring hate crimes and incidents in further and higher education. This report focuses on incidents and crimes related to race and ethnicity.

 

No Place for Hate:

Religion and Belief

The full report from our Home Office-funded research exploring the extent and nature of hate crime and incidents on campus related to religion and belief.

No Place for Hate:

Disability

The full report from our Home Office-funded research exploring the extent and nature of hate crime and incidents on campus related to disability.


No Place for Hate:

Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity

The full report from our Home Office-funded research exploring the extent and nature of hate crime and incidents on campus related to sexual orientation and gender identity

2012

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2012

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2012

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2011

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Liberation, equality and diversity

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Race for Equality

A report exploring why Black students are less likely to be satisfied with their student experience and why they are less likely to achieve a first class degree in comparison to their white peers.

Hidden Marks

An online survey of more than 2000 women students, exploring prevalence of harassment, violence, stalking and sexual assault, experiences of reporting, and the impact of violence on education.

Life, not numbers

A report into how the funding and administration of disabled students' personal care packages impacts their experience of higher education; based on in-depth qualitative interviews.

Meet the Parents

Our groundbreaking 2009 research investigating the day-to-day experiences of students with dependent children in the UK.

2011

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2010

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2010

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2010

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Ethical and Environmental research publications

Attitudes and Skills for Sustainable Development

Attitudes and Skills for Sustainable Development

Attitudes and Skills for Sustainable Development

The two phase approach included a brief desk review, to update the pre-existing 2010 review with the most up-todate secondary publications, which then informed a national online survey. The survey achieved representative samples of 1552 first-year students and 1641 second-year students.

Attitudes and Skills for Sustainable Development

Findings from a June 2010 purposive desk research study informed an online survey of 5,763 first-year higher education (HE) students, across all four UK member nations to
investigate the role of developing skills for sustainability literacy.

   

2011

2010

 



Commercial research publications

 

 

Success in the student market

This research provides an insider's guide into the purchasing habits of students, aligning these with student lifestyle, and the factors which influence student spend.
     

2012