University of Sheffield
EdComs helped the University of Sheffield (TUOS) better understand the needs of prospective students across both UK and international markets, in particular with regards to how TUOS’ printed undergraduate prospectus and miniguide were perceived, and whether they are useful recruitment tools.
We conducted 3 face-to-face focus groups with a mixture of Year 12 and 13 students, all of whom were either planning to apply, or had applied to university, and were predicted ABB grades or higher. We recruited students who had applied for or were interested in a range of subjects across the 5 faculties at TUOS: Arts & Humanities, Engineering, Medicine & Dentistry, Science, and Social Science.
This research informed the execution of TUOS’ online and hard-copy prospectus to ensure it effectively communicated what the university had to offer in a way that aligned with prospective students’ needs and interests.
EdComs are currently working with a university to evaluate how their outreach offer to schools and colleges – in particularly to widening participation students – is valued by parents, teachers, and students. This work will inform the university’s positioning and delivery of their outreach offer for the year 2019/2020 and beyond.
We are conducting interviews with teachers, in order to build a picture of the perceptions of the university’s outreach offer and its value, and to compare these perceptions by school type, teacher role, and school engagement with the university. Our second research group is parents and carers, with whom we are conducting telephone interviews. Finally, we are conducting student focus groups: some with pre-16 students, and some with post-16 students (studying for a range of qualifications).
Goldsmiths, University of London
The aim of this study was to provide Goldsmiths with the market intelligence that underpins evidence-based decision-making on the design and delivery of viable new offers. Goldsmiths wanted to identify market opportunities to produce refined ‘Product Options’. We evaluated the viability of each ‘Product Option’ in the context of market need and develop more fully formed ‘Product Specifications’. From this, we provided a detailed research design for Goldsmiths to undertake future market testing of the ‘Product Specifications’.
EdComs undertook an iterative, mixed method approach that involved close collaboration with the Goldsmiths Market Intelligence function. This included competitor and market environment analysis, and in-depth interviews with expert industry and HE stakeholders in both the UK and USA.
We delivered a detailed final report which provided full details of the research process and outcomes to ensure transparency. This also enabled the Goldsmiths Market Intelligence function to replicate the methodology in future with new Options.