PODCAST: Student marketing and recruitment special

This week on the podcast (in assn with SMRS) we take a first look at the UCAS data and consider the politics of universities’ offer-making in 2020

News and analysis of higher education from our leading team of wonks.


This week’s Wonkhe Show is a recruitment special, in association with SMRS.

We take a first look at the UCAS data on January deadline application data, consider the politics of universities’ offer-making in 2020, and discuss where the lines are when marketing to students. The panel also speculates about how university recruitment practices may change over the next decade as we anticipate rapid growth in demand for HE.

Hosted by Mark Leach, Editor in Chief of Wonkhe, with Clare Marchant, Chief Executive of UCAS; Dan Beynon, Head of Education at SMRS; and Alison Kerwin, Director of Marketing at the University of Liverpool.

Items this week


Harder to get into than a number 10 lobby briefing, and much more enjoyable when you do, it’s the much demanded return of yes but does it correlate.

Biological sciences and subjects allied to medicine are two closely allied subject groups. But, in 2018-19, does strength in one necessarily mean strength in the other? I’ve plotted the raw numbers of students (at all levels) at each institution – yes, but does it correlate?

And the answer is no, not really. R squared is 0.25, suggesting a very weak relationship more likely to be explained by provider size. The numbers are taken from the recent release of HESA student open data, and where the data doesn’t exist – I’ve not plotted it!

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