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27th April 2023

6 strategies to succeed in Higher Education recruitment

Our key take outs...

After attending the Higher Education Marketing Conference, we take a look at David Penney’s (Director of Marketing at UCAS) Strategies to Succeed in 2023 and beyond.

  • Focus efforts on where you can recruit from in the future.

It is predicted there’ll be one million applications for higher education in the UK by 2030, owing to the growth in the 18-year-old population. There is therefore a need for more universities to accommodate this, yet there are no significant plans or announcements.

  • Think about how you can close the equality gap faster.

On current trajectory it’s going to take till 2352 (329 years away) to close the equality gap between the most advantaged and disadvantaged. If the most selective universities focused on admitting 70 students per year from the underrepresented population, the Wider Participation gap could be closed by 2030.

  • Embrace student reviews in content and messaging.

UCAS has observed that student reviews are becoming a more authentic influence than league tables for students making university decisions, yet they exist outside of most university customer journeys, making the sector an anomaly compared to other customer brands.

  • Make your standout modules more attractive.

The range of modules in a course is the number one factor driving student university choice. Understanding and articulating how modules differentiate your courses from your competition will allow you to be able to better persuade prospective students to choose your institution over competitors.

  • Review and refine your course portfolio.

More courses does not mean better conversions. Considering the choice paradox and opportunity cost, could a smaller, curated portfolio lead to a stronger brand and more students? Universities offering too many courses can lead to confusion and a lower conversion rate.

  • Shout more about cost-of-living in your messaging.

After the pandemic UCAS saw an uplift in students wanting to move away, however as the cost-of-living increases more students are opting for a more local university. Universities need to prioritise cost-of-living messaging in their comms to give students peace of mind that they will be assisted.


If you want to discuss how we can help you with any of these strategies, then please get in touch with nick.friend@hunterlodge.co.uk

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