Kingston University has admitted one of its staff has pressured students to dishonestly answer a national funding survey.

In a statement, the university admitted one of its staff had told students give it better marks than it deserved in the National Student Survey.

According to an audio recording published by Live! the student news website of Imperial College, the unnamed staff member tells students the value of their degree depends on the university's reputation and score in the survey.

"If Kingston comes down the bottom, the bottom line is that nobody is going to want to employ you," the staff member said.

Kingston University said it regrets the isolated incident and is investigating.

A university spokeswoman could not confirm whether anyone had been sacked over the incident.

This National Student Survey was introduced by the Higher Education Funding Council for England to gather feedback on the quality of students' courses in order to contribute to public accountability.

In a statement, vice chancellor Professor Peter Scott said: "We believe this to be an isolated incident and regret the inappropriate comments made to students about the National Student Survey, even if these remarks were not intended to be taken entirely literally.

"As soon as we were alerted to this allegation we investigated the matter and looked at ways to ensure that such a mistake was not repeated.

"We have kept the Higher Education Funding Council for England fully informed about our investigation.

"Kingston University liaised extensively with the students' union in the run up to the National Student Survey and together we prepared a number of joint communication materials informing staff and students about the NSS process.

"In all these communications it was made clear that staff should explain how the NSS was implemented and the reasons for completing the survey, but that they should encourage students to be honest in their response and should not in any way attempt to influence what they said.

"In future, the university plans to introduce an agreed script about the NSS which will be widely circulated to students and staff to avoid any repeat of this incident."