My week - 7 July 2015 - recruitment update

Marketing Director Martin Holmes reflects on the summer open days and gives an update on our recruitment for next year.

July is always an exciting month as we start to initiate our plans for the next round of student recruitment for 2016 entry, whilst working through the detail of how we will manage confirmation and clearing for those applicants getting their results in August and hoping to come to University this autumn.

The Open Days really provide an opportunity to showcase all that is great about this University, the combination of University staff, existing students and our recent alumni help convey the distinctive nature of the Leeds experience.

Despite the increasingly competitive nature of the student recruitment process, Leeds remains as popular as ever, attracting a steady number of applicants to our Open Days. However, this month saw a marked increase in applicant quality as we continue to strive to balance intake quality, diversity and volume.

Attention will now quickly turn to the detail of planning for results week in August and the confirmation and clearing processes. This year we have seen more marked variation in individual school performance reflecting the different nature and characteristics of individual subject markets. Overall the number of applicants making Leeds their firm choice is marginally down this year, reflecting the slightly lower offers made as we seek to attract the best applicants.

The success of our efforts to improve our intake quality, relative to our co-applicant peers, appears to be bearing fruit as we have recently seen improvements in our relative position in both the Complete University Guide and Guardian league tables.

Our taught postgraduate recruitment position is much more varied this year. This year sees undergraduates graduating with the full impact of the £9K fee and new funding model. This, combined with uncertainty about postgraduate funding and loan support, may well have served to depress home applications.

Encouragingly, international applications and offer acceptance rates are significantly up on last year, despite further complications impacting upon our immigration processes. Whilst the strongest growth remains in China, we have seen encouraging growth in South East Asia and Mexico. One of the most pleasing aspects of our overall international recruitment remains our ability to balance volume with cohort diversity and helping to ensure we maximise the quality of the student experience.

So, whilst student recruitment is becoming ever more competitive in all cohorts, the collective approach of a huge number of academic and professional colleagues across campus continues to ensure that we see the benefits of a large, internationally and socio-economically diverse student community, all of whom contribute to the warmth and vibrancy of the Leeds experience.


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