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Promoting the NSS

Promotional Advice

The 2024 NSS campaign will run from Monday, 29 January 2024 - Tuesday, 30 April 2024.

We would like to ensure that we achieve as high a response rate as possible - the more students that complete the NSS, the more robust and representative the results will be.

The Student Communications and Engagement team will raise awareness across University-wide channels including:

  • The weekly My Manchester Newsletter
  • The Student News website
  • Central social media channels
  • Digital signage

Central messaging will include promotion of University incentives (see below) as well emphasising the importance of feedback and in particular NSS as a way of us improving students’ experience, with examples of how student feedback has made real impact.

To help push up response rates, central activity will be complemented by local activity and communications.

University Incentives 2024

This year, the University is offering two incentives. A prize draw and a charity donation.

Prize Draw

Every student who completes the 2024 NSS will be offered the chance to enter a prize draw. The prizes are:

  • 1 x iPad Air

  • 2 x £200 voucher of choice from: Uber, Deliveroo, LovetoShop 
  • 2 x £100 voucher of choice from: Uber, Deliveroo, LovetoShop 
  • 4 x £50 voucher of choice from: Uber, Deliveroo, LovetoShop 
  • 4 x £25 voucher of choice from: Uber, Deliveroo, LovetoShop
  •  4 x Graduation Day package (free gown hire, photography shoot with a complimentary graduation photo and two additional guest tickets) 

Charitable donation

For each response submitted the University will also make a £2 charitable donation, split equally between the four charitable causes:

  • University of Manchester Cost of Living Support Fund: Awarding grants of up to £2000 to help students overcome financial hardship or unforeseen additional costs. 
  • Refugee Women Connect: Working to build a safe life in the UK for all women in the refugee and asylum seeker community. 
  • St Ann’s Hospice:  Helping people from across Greater Manchester affected by life-limiting illnesses and supporting their loved ones and carers. 
  • Lifeshare: Manchester’s oldest charity dedicated to providing essential services to people experiencing homelessness and poverty. 

The organisations were chosen by students eligible to complete this years NSS through an online poll. 

Messages about the incentives will be included in communications from Ipsos Mori and central Student Communications, but can also be used in school and course promotional messages.

For further information please contact


School/course level communication

We know that staff who have regular contact with students are vital to increasing response rates and this year, faculty staff communications teams have been working with central teams to ensure coordination of activity. If you are looking to run local activities please check with your local teams that work isn’t being duplicated.

If you are responsible for planning local activity, guidance (including information about inappropriate influence and the sharing of response rates) and ideas for activity can be found in the documents available to download below.

Promotional guidelines and inappropriate influence

Whatever promotional methods you choose to use, it is important to bear the following in mind:

  • It is crucial that local survey promotion is neutral and that students are targeted equally so that each eligible student is given a chance to express their views
  • Students should feel free to give honest feedback about their experiences without their responses being influenced by their institution
  • Communications should promote the survey not the institution
  • Communications should not influence the results of the survey, but rather aim to boost response rates
  • Running local incentives for students who complete the survey. Please note that completion of the survey cannot be a condition to entering a prize draw, please see the MRS guidelines on incentives, the school guidance available below or contact for more information. Also remember the University incentives can be used in all communications.

Inappropriate influence

If we are found to have been using inappropriate influence with respect to the NSS, the robustness of the data could be called into question. OfS could take action to suppress the affected NSS data in the specific year. This would mean that no NSS data would be published for the affected courses in the specific year and, as a result, it would not be available for marketing activities, learning enhancement work or inclusion on the Unistats website.

“Inappropriate Influence” is defined as “any activity or behaviour which may encourage students to reflect anything other than their true opinion of their experiences during their course in their NSS responses” Examples include:

  • Explicit or implicit instruction on the type of responses students should make, including the provision of standard or example responses.
  • Explaining how the survey is presented to students and drawing attention, explicitly or implicitly, to the consequences of negative responses, with regard to:
    • Conflation with other surveys undertaken by providers whether internal or external
    • League tables, the Teaching Excellence and Student Outcomes Framework (TEF) or Quality Assessment processes
    • Employers’ perceptions of positive and negative outcomes.
  • Instruction on how the response scale is understood by third parties.
  • Encouraging students to avoid a particular point on the response scale.
  • Failure to ensure that methods to encourage participation in the survey, such as campaigns, the use of promotional materials (either explicitly or implicitly) or incentivisation methods (such as prize draws), do not bias responses.
  • Holding compulsory sessions at which the NSS must be completed.

Remember to keep your information factual and avoid attempting, or appearing to attempt, to influence the way that students answer the questions. Ipsos Mori have produced guidelines for survey promotion and more detail is provided in the documents available to download from the toolkit below. Please read this carefully.

If you are at all unsure about any aspect of survey promotion, please contact

Download promotional materials

NSS promotional toolkit 2024 

The toolkit contains

  • Digital assets with and without University incentives, including digital screens, PowerPoint lecture slides and email footer)
  • Posters
  • Advice and guidance documents for staff


For further information please contact