Over the summer the 2018 National Student Survey results were released, and as usual Kingston management’s bullshit machine swung into action. We all know the NSS bears little relation to teaching quality, but the SMT will extract what it can from the dried tea bag of performance monitoring. So it boasts about an improvement in teaching, feedback and support, although the figures are only a couple of percent or so, a minor improvement at best. Even SS’s effusions can’t make much of the miniscule improvement in student satisfaction from 80.1% to 80.5%. Will any of these vaunted small improvements take the pressure off staff? Almost certainly not. The public face of the SMT is very different to the one turned towards us. Janus is its name.
As usual our bumbling bosses trumpet the 100% satisfaction rates from the handful of courses that get them, while quietly overlooking those who’ve fallen from this perfect score, Nutrition for example, whose students are apparently more fed up (geddit) this year. But let’s celebrate the put-upon mathematicians who, against the odds, have managed 100% for their courses this year. Even here the SMT has resorted to bullshit, claiming the reason is the new way the courses are taught, at its insistence. The NSS figure, however, was obtained before this has been introduced. Regardless, it’s a good result for beleaguered Maths, a last hurrah for the department being absorbed into Computing (not 100% satisfaction). Shame about the third of staff who contributed to that achievement and have been ushered out by the management. Oops.