Further Education College Market Research
We have vast experience working with a range of further education colleges (FE Colleges) and sixth form colleges to understand a wide-range of topics, including the introduction of new courses, developing marketing messages, and developing journey models for prospective students on their way towards making a decision on the college they wish to attend after high school – or their plans for post-16 education more generally. We also have wide-ranging experience of staff satisfaction and alumni engagement research, as well as student satisfaction projects.
One of our particular specialisms is reviewing brand perceptions amongst current and prospective students and their parents, as well as members of the local general public and regional employers. We have carried out this form of research for a range of colleges of different sizes across the UK and also internationally.
In addition, we are increasingly receiving enquiries from further education colleges about the impact of changes to post-16 provision – i.e. the requirement for young people to stay in education, training or employment with training until the age of 18.
Our FE College Offer
We can offer both qualitative and quantitative methodologies for further education college market research. In addition, we appreciate that FE colleges are sometimes carrying out this form of research for the first time, or do not conduct studies regularly. In these cases we are more than happy to discuss our thinking with you and to provide a range of options, as well as our recommended approach.
We have our own online panel of teachers from across the UK which, although not always needed for projects, can be a useful resource to understand general teacher views on post-16 education as a whole at a very cost-effective price.
However, when working with FE colleges we largely carry out research in the local or regional area of interest. We are very well resourced for this, with our own 60-station CATI telephone interviewing unit, a UK-wide fieldwork force of more than 1000 interviewers (with CAPI capability) and our own internal online market research and scripting team, specialists in designing compelling surveys to ensure high response rates.
Further Education College Market Research Case Study
We have recently conducted research on behalf of an FE college in the North West of England to gauge perceptions of the College amongst potential students, adults and potential employers in the local area.
We utilised a mixed qualitative (focus groups with potential students, tele-depths with employers) and quantitative (face to face on street interviews with adults and teenagers, telephone interviews with employers) approach in order to both get under the skin of perceptions of the College and to test how widely those views were held.
The research provided the College with feedback from several key target audiences, and allowed a more targeted use of marketing communications and branding to re-position their brand and appeal to a wider, more engaged audience.
You can read more about our FE college market research offer within our services section.