9 August 2014
PA Consulting Group’s Mike Boxall, a higher education expert, is quoted in an article in the Financial Times on why some British universities are now offering laptops, cash prizes or sports club memberships to attract the brightest students.
Mike describes how undergraduate entries have become “firmly a buyer’s market”, since there is “just more capacity in the system than the numbers of students coming in”.
Mike explains: “The notion of ‘admitting’ students, which is still the language of university departments, is becoming a thing of the past. Students are now customers and it’s all about sales . . . and the kind of sales gimmicks that you might have for a holiday or a hotel.”
Mike continues: “Clearing is rapidly changing from a scramble for those who didn't make their preferred offer . . . to something more akin to the football transfer windows where students are looking to trade up or trade differently and universities are looking to, in effect, poach people who are holding offers from elsewhere.”