Shift learning

Market research for the Education sector

University of the West of England | Environmental analysis

The Brief

As part of a drive to achieve their 2020 vision, UWE called upon Shift Learning’s expertise to conduct a rigorous environmental analysis. We conducted a macro and micro study, bringing together key information in a usable report that would feed into a 3-year strategic marketing plan.

Our approach and methodology

Shift Learning took a multi-phased approach to deliver this comprehensive insight into the environmental factors influencing the University:

  • Phase 1: Desk research
    • Analysis of publically available information and the University’s internal data to provide a detailed PEST analysis and overview of the HE market.
  • Phase 2: Interviews with key internal stakeholders
    • Comprised 21 interviews involving 39 members of staff from the Vice-Chancellor’s office, faculties and central/professional Services.
    • Collaborative development of all interview scripts with UWE.
  • Phase 3: Interviews with international agents
    • Comprised 11 telephone interviews lasting 30 minutes
    • Gained insights into recruitment processes, student drivers, the competitive landscape and opportunities.
  • Phase 4: Competitor analysis
    • Reviewed brand and marketing messages from 10 institutions including their portfolio strengths, facilities and online support.
  • We kept UWE up to date via regular progress calls, meetings and emails – reviewing key findings and gaining feedback for the next stages of the research design.

Delivering results and value to our client

The Shift Learning team brought critical market research to UWE through:

  • A comprehensive report including source references, illustrated with graphics.
  • A PEST analysis identifying areas for future opportunities.
  • SWOT analyses for individual faculties, the University and international markets.
  • A shortened and streamlined version of the report for presentation, drawing on key findings and recommendations.
  • Actionable recommendations on various aspects including: key success factors and KPIs, marketing communications, messaging, recruitment strategies, the application process, employability, opportunities to aid increasing applications and market changes.

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