Major student recruitment campaign launches
SOAS launched its first major student recruitment campaign in October 2013, in response to ambitious 2014/15 recruitment targets.
The School is aiming for undergraduate growth of 35% over the next few years. The promotional campaign supports this by raising awareness in the UK of SOAS’ high quality research and teaching. The key objective is to grow the pool of suitably qualified students applying at all levels, and to promote our flagship recruiting programmes and new programmes.
Madeleine McGowan, Interim Director of Marketing and Student Recruitment, said: ‘Not only does the campaign allow us to project SOAS' unique character and academic prowess, but it also gives us a great chance to understand what attracts students to SOAS. We will be collecting data throughout in order to inform future recruitment. We really appreciate feedback from all colleagues – our staff and students are our most powerful advocates.’
The strongly visual campaign highlights several aspects of the personality of SOAS, united by the phrase ‘Meet the world at SOAS.’ Research shows that key factors in applicant decision-making are course content and reputation. Other factors include the unique nature of the SOAS community; the ‘SOAS perspective’ embedded in research and teaching; the international networks and opportunities SOAS offers to its students; the opportunities for language study.The Marketing and Student Recruitment team is in the process of scheduling a series of presentations to colleagues in faculties and professional services, in order to explain the campaign in more depth and to gather feedback.
Analysis by the Planning Department and Marketing and Student Recruitment underpins the promotional activity. 50% of planned growth is being sought through the introduction of new programmes, the remainder to be achieved by increasing recruitment to existing programmes. Home and EU students are expected to continue to account for 50% of postgraduate taught and 78% of undergraduate registrations.
The promotional campaign launched in October to support 2014 recruitment and to provide a baseline of awareness on which to build in a similar campaign for 2015.
The media campaign targets geographical areas in which student recruitment has traditionally been strong, using
- education specific channels; UCAS and other portals
- specialist print publications (e.g. New Statesman, Independent Schools parent guide)
- online press (eg The Guardian website)
- outdoor advertising on London Underground network (trains, escalator adverts);
- in-school activity (school talks and poster campaign).
This is supported by an integrated mix of activity through a range of channels across SOAS, such as enhanced Open Day activity, work with Alumni, web and social media and on-campus promotion.