Part two of my summarised presentation from last weeks Discovering Futures event looking at the challenges facing HE today and how The Student Room has grown in the past 3 years to be the largest student site in the world.
Part 2 of 3
Today the HE sector faces a range of new challenges:
- UG is oversubscribed
- There is a new focus on PG recruitment
- Renewed focus on International students at UG and PG levels
- Widening Access very much on the agenda with top level tuition fee level dependant on reaching students from all backgrounds
- Political and media spotlight on HE and students
- An uncertainty about the implications of fees on university intake from 2012
- An uncertainty around clearing 2011, will universities fill their places or not? Certainly the number of students defering entry is down significantly.
HE marketing practices have evolved:
- Everyone in HE – Including the Russell Group are looking to gear up for a more competitive market place one in which students have a lot more influence:
- How do students view us?
- How do we differentiate ourselves?
- How valuable is our brand?
- What do we charge?
- Will UG applications drop to our institute from 2012?
- How do we spend less on marketing but get more?
- A great deal of market research has been commissioned by universities to get the answers to these questions
- Print advertising for UG has reduced massively with a shift to the web where young people spend all their time and can be targeted by a range of criteria.
- Social sites like Facebook and The Student Room now are now used by universities, not just for advertising but to engage with and listen to students. Our official represenative package allows a university to do just that in an official and branded way.
- The print prospectus still has an important place but some universities now produce this as much for the parents benefit as for students.
The Student Room has graduated:
- Now the largest student site in the world (4.5m unique users May 2011)
- We came up with a new logo and new look and TSR looks very different from how it did back in 2008. As with most forums it can still be daunting for the uninitiated but watch this space. We want to make TSR so simple to use that even your vice chancellor could get to grips with it.
- There are currently 15 of us full time behind the scenes and we have a brilliant and dedicated team of 50 student volunteer moderators that run the site on a day to day basis. We’re currently recruiting by the way
- Over 800,000 registered members
- Half of all applicants to university use The Student Room
- A partnership with UCAS to support students during August
- A partnership with Postgraduate studentships
- TSR Student Insight used alongside other sources to inform university strategy
- The place government depts turn to engage with students – Q&A with David Willetts, Lord Browne etc.
- Over half of all universities in the UK work with us now at The Student Room
This is part 2 of 3 – To read the 1st and 3rd parts of the presentation visit the blog links below:
Part 3 – What next for HE marketing & TSR
Part 1 – Change within HE and at The Student Room in the past 3 years
The full presentation is available for download
Changes in HE and the impact on The Student Room and university Marketer – june 2011