Turquoise was commissioned by the University of Cambridge Institute of Continuing Education (ICE) to identify the future potential growth areas (professional and other) for online courses to help increase course enrolments. Within this we were asked to understand the overall desired student experience with online course provision, identify the differing needs of students across the lifelong learning lifecycle, and understand how the ICE brand is perceived and how much strength or weight this has for differing students.
The aim of the research was to explore motivations behind undertaking online courses at ICE, who were their core competitors (and how ICE performed against them), and what students would want to see from the ICE portfolio in terms of qualifications. Ultimately ICE wanted to explore how they accommodate the lifecycle of learning.
We undertook an online programme of research to explore current student attitudes alongside potential, considerer students. Both student sets were UK, EU and USA. As part of the analysis, we conducted a segmentation exercise across the sample in order to provide recommendations of where ICE’s focus should be, which target audiences provided the greatest opportunity for the university and what was needed to encourage further uptake of online courses.
Research outcomes for University of Cambridge
For each segment identified we were able to provide ICE with who they were, what courses were of interest to them and why, motivations behind online course uptake, interest in online qualifications and credentials and key support needs. The University of Cambridge ICE found the segmentation exercise very helpful in bringing to life different student cohorts.