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Canterbury Christ Church University: Making a stronger connection with prospective students to increase offer acceptance rates

In the UK, clearing is an opportunity for students to find a course that’s right for them as universities make a final round of offers once exams results have been published. Many students entering the process feel a huge sense of pressure. Their experience when they contact universities during clearing is vital in determining which offer they accept.

Canterbury Christ Church University (CCCU) understood it needed to offer a high-quality experience at every stage of the student journey. It asked PA to review its core processes and develop a comprehensive programme to transform the organisation’s performance.

We identified how student enquiries were managed during clearing as one area where we could make a tangible difference quickly. Under the existing process, staff operating the phones aimed to issue as many offers as possible – but the acceptance rate was low.

To fix this, we trained staff to have better conversations with prospective students and make their first contact with CCCU more personal. There were also big changes to systems, processes and infrastructure, allowing the team to respond in real time to changing patterns of enquiry and target effort more effectively.

As a result, the offer acceptance rate at clearing doubled within a year – generating a potential £2.5 million in additional fee income. Our work, part of one of four major projects that will fundamentally change the way the university operates, was crucial in helping CCCU exceed its recruitment targets for clearing and attract the revenue it needs to prosper and grow.

"We simply wouldn’t have been able to implement the changes in the time we had, and with the rigour required, without PA’s support. It was absolutely critical, not only in the lead-up, but during the clearing period itself."

Marco Keir – Director of Marketing and Recruitment – CCCU


See how @PA_Consulting helped strengthen connections, increasing acceptances to Canterbury Christ Church University

Contact the education team


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