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Welfare Reform on the Web (December 2011): Education - UK - higher

Admissions Process Review consultation

Universities and Colleges Admissions Service


This consultation paper proposes scrapping the current system under which students apply for undergraduate courses on the basis of predicted A level grades. Young people would instead sit their examinations as early as Easter and results would be published in July instead of August. Youngsters would be able to apply for a place at only two universities instead of the present five after receiving their results, and all degree courses would start in October.

(See also Daily Telegraph, Nov. 1st 2011, p. 7)

British-born university applicants down by 15% after hike in fees

J. Shepherd

The Guardian, Nov. 29th 2011, p. 2

The number of UK-born students who applied to start university in 2012 had fallen by 15%, according to official figures from the university admissions service released in November 2011. Autumn 2012 was when fees at many universities were due to rise to 9,000 a year. The statistics, published by the Universities and Colleges Admissions Service (Ucas), showed 133,357 applicants had applied from within the UK, compared with 157,116 in November 2010.

(See also Daily Telegraph, Nov. 29th 2011, p. 16)

Can a higher education institution's marketing strategy improve the student-institution match?

Y. Moogan

International Journal of Educational Management, vol. 25, 2011, p. 570 - 589

Issues such as managing brand image, assessing advertising medium effectiveness and collecting market intelligence are common practice for higher education institutions (HEIs). Consequently, understanding the information needs of potential students when they make their decisions about where to apply is paramount. The research was designed to establish the key marketing communication activities that contribute to the student decision-making process. A survey of 318 students enrolling on their first day at a Welsh (traditional) university was achieved from a sampling frame of 469. In order to supplement the literature, four semi structured in-depth interviews with university staff (the School Manager, School Admissions Tutor, Head of Central Marketing, and Head of Central Recruitment) were also held. These interviews identified the key marketing communication themes that acted as the foundation for the questionnaire. The respondents were asked to consider each phase of the decision-making process and rank the information sources that had the most impact upon them. Hence a critical incident approach was employed. The results show that the respondents did receive adequate information, with details of the programme of study being most important, but they would have preferred greater use of electronic sources and especially input from current undergraduates on a regular basis. If the HE senior management knows the impact of marketing activities on potential HE students in terms of timing and content, there is a better chance of matching the information sources to the needs of the students.

Students go to high court to contest tuition fees increase

J. Shepherd

The Guardian, Nov. 2nd 2011, p. 16

Two teenagers have begun a case in the high court against the government's decision to let universities almost treble tuition fees next year. Callum Hurley and Katy Moore, both 17, argue that the decision to raise fees to up to 9,000 a year from autumn 2012 contravenes human rights and equality legislation. Their case is expected to last two days and has been paid for through legal aid and pro bono work.

(See also The Independent, Nov. 1st 2011. p. 21)

Universities launch tuition fees price war

R. Garner

The Independent, Nov. 8th 2011, p. 1-2

One in five universities in England and Wales is seeking to reduce its fees, only days before the application deadline. This is likely to cause confusion, since many students will have applied to cheaper universities in the belief that the ones they really wanted would charge more. Labour has described the situation as confused and causing great uncertainty. In total, 27 English universities have applied to the Office for Fair Access (OFFA) to revise agreements they had signed earlier.

University costs 'could force fee refugees to flee to Scotland'

G. Paton

Daily Telegraph, Nov. 25th 2011, p. 13

From 2012, English students enrolled at Scottish universities will be forced to pay up to 9,000 a year in tuition fees, while Scottish undergraduates will be given free tuition. Fees for Welsh students will be fixed at 3,465. A paper presented to a Higher Education Funding Council for England board meeting warned that families, particularly those living near the borders, could move to Wales or Scotland in order to benefit from more favourable fee arrangements.

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