University Student Recruitment Teams Compete for A-level Students
A-level results day is one filled with trepidation and uncertainty for most sixth form and college students. They’ve studied hard over the past two years; they’ve spent countless hours researching courses that suit their interests and most have dedicated a lot of time visiting university open days to get a hint of what the next exciting step in their lives could look like.
But at the end of it all, their futures are determined by three or four letters on a crisp black and white sheet. For some, it’s great news. Now all they have to do is keep an eye out for ensuing emails regarding what to bring and freshers events. For others, it’s not so great. And so, begins a nerve-wracking waiting game, also known as clearing.
However, it’s not just students that face the heat on A-level results day. Universities across the UK are gearing up to face the battle of securing the best recruits as competition hits an all-time high.
Competition for student enrolment in 2019 has become tougher than before due to there being a demographic dip in 18-year-olds in the UK, meaning there will be 41,000 fewer students over the next four years.
Richard O’Kelly, the head of data and analysis at UCAS, states, “University admissions is a competitive market, especially with the continual decline over the past few years of the UK’s 18-year-old population, and this is undoubtedly true for clearing too.”
Universities are also concerned about facing a dip in international recruits as they fear that the uncertainty surrounding Brexit will deter students from applying to institutions in Britain.
The university admissions service, UCAS, reports that places remain open for over 30,000 courses across 350 institutions and more are to be released today. With so many spaces still up for grabs, it means that there is greater pressure for recruitment teams to market themselves as the best option in order to attract prospects.
Clare Marchant, the chief executive of UCAS, described admissions as a “buyer’s market” as the figure of students applying through clearing could reach 80,000 this year, almost double the number of students who used the process 10 years ago.
Tony Flaherty, acting head of admissions at Sheffield University, highlights how changing attitudes towards clearing see students having more autonomy over their decision as they are becoming more aware of the fact that it’s no longer a case of whether or not they are good enough for a university, but that instead universities are keen to fill up the spaces with quality students. Flaherty describes this generation of prospects as “savvy-offer holders” who want to “shop around” before making a final decision.
The question now is, how can universities come out on top in the competition for recruiting the best students? It’s simple really: show students you understand their individual needs. Amongst the confusion and stress of the clearing process, students want a clear voice that will attend directly to their immediate concerns: the course they want to study and the opportunities their earned grades can offer.
With this generation of students being tech-savvy cohorts, they demand answers instantly and online. With a Google and Compete study showing that one in ten prospective students now search exclusively online for courses, universities must ensure that they have a clear digital strategy in place in order convey an authentic voice and secure the quality of students that they are looking for to best represent their institution.
Proodle appreciates that in order to stay on top of the game, we must move forward with the dynamism of technology and customise digital content that the current generation of students can easily engage with.
What Proodle Solutions offers is an innovative and secure personalised mobile platform for the potential student, which introduces institutions and programmes in a whole new way to make an everlasting impression. We help students understand what a university is about, their requirements, the application process and notify them on the latest social events.
If you would like to know more about how Proodle can digitally influence your international recruitment efforts, email us at [email protected] or give us a call on +447776557159