Insights into student decision making

11 November 2015
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Austerity is front of student minds according to 2015 research

Higher education has been in the headlines almost continuously for the last three years: higher tuition fees, and the increasing level of student debt that has accompanied them, have attracted much speculation about their impact. Concerns too that there would be a significant fall in university applications – notably from those with lower household incomes – have as yet not been realised, but with the perceived ‘value for money’ debate still raging, it is worth keeping a close eye on this.

The increasing demands of students as consumers forces the institution to deliver greater value for money, readiness for work, a great learning and living experience, and to meet future career and salary expectations. The tension sharpens between ‘selling education’ as a commodity and delivering an experience that trains great minds on the premise that it is simply a good thing to think, enquire and learn. But what really interests SERIOUS is looking ahead to how the marketplace might look in the future, what marketing challenges that may bring, and what solutions we can offer to our clients.

With universities competing for the brightest and best students to fill their courses, knowing what’s going through the minds of prospective students is essential if they are to get their messaging right and spend every marketing pound wisely.

  • Are open days still valuable in the decision of which university to go to?
  • Is money invested in printed prospectuses well spent?
  • Is it the course or the location that sways the final decision?
  • How much does the cost of living affect the choice of study destination?
  • How much of your marketing budget should be spent online?
  • What is the impact of international competition on our higher education offering?

Keeping up-to-date with the latest thinking, knowing what matters to current and prospective students, understanding their behaviour and the way they make decisions is essential for any of us who are involved day-to-day in education marketing.

The latest research from The Student Room reinforces much of what we already know, but it’s interesting to see the collective thoughts of more than 5,000 young people, who are considering their education and career options.

Student Room Opinions 2015 – PDF


If you’d like to talk more about enhancing the student experience, we’d be delighted to hear from you.

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