Programmes, products and markets

We work with universities and other higher education providers to:

  • Assess markets and competition for new academic programmes, and to re-position existing programmes
  • Research perceptions among undergraduates, postgraduates, staff, employers and other stakeholders, nationally and internationally
  • Research employers needs, for graduate skills, CPD and knowledge transfer
  • Prepare feasibility studies for new ventures
  • Develop marketing strategies and implementation plans
  • Explore and assess wider strategic issues, such as the impact of Widening Participation.

Project examples include:

  • Study to inform development of a new suite of undergraduate degree programmes. Research among potential applicants and their teachers/advisors, in sixth forms and FE colleges. Focus groups with students and depth interviews with teachers and advisors.
  • A comprehensive, multi-method, in-depth study to inform undergraduate recruitment and marketing strategy. Involved research among a range of internal and external stakeholders and a substantial literature review.
  • Discussion groups among university registrars and others, to inform a new online facility reporting academic research ratings.

Applicants and students’ perceptions

Marketwise Strategies works with universities and other HEIs to develop detailed insights into the student experience, and the perceptions of applicants, potential applicants, and those who advise them.Using traditional and online tools, we have built a wealth of expertise in identifying not only the ‘surface’ behaviours and attitudes, but the underlying factors that influence applicant decisions, motivators and concerns.

Project examples include:

  • Online quantitative survey, conducted across the student population as a whole and reported upon at university and school level. Marketwise Strategies worked with the client to adapt the question types and topic areas put forward by a range of academic departments and service functions and to develop from these an effective, online questionnaire. We then managed the survey process, analysed and reported upon the data and maximised the response via a series of incentives.
  • Focus groups among international and domestic students to explore students perceptions of the university and the locality. Two projects, for one of the UK’s highest ranking modern universities. Findings have informed changes to internal processes and functions as well as to the international student package and promotional activity.
  • Detailed quantitative analysis of student satisfaction data derived from four waves of a UK-wide syndicated survey. Produced a comprehensive breakdown of the findings at School level, enabling actions to be agreed with specific Schools within the University.

Brand, reputation and communication

Whether you are developing a brand or a whole new approach to external or internal communications, Marketwise Strategies can provide the stakeholder insights to underpin your decisions.

Our Higher Education clients have called upon us to:

  • Evaluate brand perceptions and inform brand re-positioning
  • Assess internal and external communications
  • Clarify the information and other needs of applicants, teachers and parents
  • Research user needs for research and course-information web sites
  • Evaluate reputation.

Project examples include:

  • Wide-ranging, employee research to inform the internal communications strategy of a leading UK university. Organisation-wide study, involving staff at all levels and across all functional areas.
  • Branding research, among UK and international stakeholders, on behalf of a leading modern university. Project to support brand positioning of a School with ambitious growth aspirations.
  • Research to refine content and presentation of an online information portal for UK higher education applicants. Focus groups and depth interviews among applicants and their advisors.

Technology transfer and employer engagement

Our work with universities extends well beyond the marketing function and often involves technology-focused and knowledge exchange projects for individual schools and faculties. Those projects have involved for example: identifying research partners in industry, exploring employer demand for postgraduate training in STEM disciplines, and providing independent research to inform funding applications, to government, research councils and investors.

Through our wider projects, for development agencies, high tech companies and venture capital funds, we have an excellent track record in researching technology products and markets, from renewable energy to medical devices, and from computer software to pharmaceuticals. That expertise means that Marketwise Strategies can hit the ground running, to design and deliver research in complex, technology focused markets and industries.

Project examples include:

  • Identifying opportunities for linkages between world-class research groups within a leading UK University and high spend R&D departments in a selection of industries. Intended to support CPD, knowledge transfer and collaborative research.
  • Research to support the careers service of a large, research-focused university to expand its relationships with employers and to identify areas for potential collaboration. Involved an online quantitative survey and in-depth qualitative research among UK employers who had recruited the clients recent graduates.
  • Research to inform a universities application for research council funding for postgraduate programmes that link with industry. UK-wide qualitative and quantitative interviews and an employer workshop.

Marketwise Strategies also supports new product development and the identification of routes to market for potential university spin-out enterprises via: