The University of Kent makes some 20,000 offers to undergraduates each year and were keen to learn insight from an UG accepter and decliner study in order to feed into work on the university’s value and brand proposition. In addition, the university needed to review its competitive position and understand the levers to drive change and to fully understand why potential students apply to the University of Kent.
Market research objectives
Establish how to increase applications and conversion to acceptance of the offer for the 2020/21 UG cycle and beyond.
To inform 2021 campaign targeting and messaging, evolution of the prospect experience, and development of the programme portfolio.
To determine the motivators/reasons for accepting or declining an offer from the University of Kent.
To evaluate UoK’s overall offering: the brand, location, campuses, programmes etc.
Turquoise began the study with a select number of tele-depth interviews with University of Kent stakeholders to explore the attitudes of different audiences in order to design the optimal online questionnaire. This was followed by a robust online study with current acceptors and decliners to discover why they applied for or rejected a place at the university.
We were able to provide a wide range of research insights including information on key interactions through various touch points such as the website, the offer, general communication and information packs. The overall performance of the brand, location, campuses, entry requirements, open-day learnings, reputation and location were analysed in terms of positive sentiment and challenges/areas for improvement. Attitudes towards the competitive set were uncovered as were reasons for declining a position. A range of recommendations were offered on how the university could strengthen its current demand and specific ways it could innovate to create new demand. There were various insights and recommendations around leveraging the uniqueness of teaching, the quality of location and the investment in the well being of students.