In the past decade the number of 18-year olds has been in decline and over the same period, mature and part-time study numbers have also dropped. It's simple economics that fewer applicants, coupled with the decision to uncap student numbers in England since 2015, means the power has shifted to applicants - the 'buyer'.
The buyers’ market has assumed various forms; Universities’ marketing spend has risen during that time (partly because they are competing harder for ad space rather than necessarily buying more). They have come up with more innovative campaigns, found themselves in social media spats that have been too sassy for their own good and tried out unusual gimmicks. Some have even resorted to claims that didn’t stand up to scrutiny.
Beyond the marketing, the buyers’ market has reshaped the admissions process. Last year there were 21.1% fewer acceptances through UCAS Extra (dropping to the lowest level in over a decade) because universities made more offers and lower offers to secure applicants.
Download the full HE Research Snippet to:
1. Read more about the driving force behind this buyer-power shift
2. Find out how the market is reacting to this change
3. Gain insight into what the future holds
4. Read our top tips on how to remain competitive in this new climate