Who are Universities Really Competing Against?
So, in the last episode we asked our focus group: “Did they considered any other options other than tertiary education before starting to study at university?” We’ve had some interesting answers, a lot focusing around the idea of a gap year. What did you find Alice?
So, I thought it was really interesting that both Jack and Molly, the two who had stated that their primary reason for going to university was based on the social experience.
To begin with I was considering taking a gap year, wasn’t sure whether I should or not, spoke to people about it. Most of my friends didn’t so that’s probably, in turn, why I just didn’t in the end and just wanted to get it over and done with.
Both said that they just wanted to get started and go with the crowd, really.
Yeah so I definitely considered a gap year and also I really wanted to start working as soon as possible, but I thought that I’d best to be into my uni straight away.
Getting it over and done with, they said, I think.
Both of them said that.
Brett de Leijer
That definitely links to wanting to do with the rest of the group is doing, going to the uni that their friends are going to and also going to uni in general rather than taking a gap year or travelling.
Yeah, going to uni with their peer group.
Whereas conversely, Kane was a complete opposite. He said a lot of his friends were just choosing a course like business, a generic sort of business course, going straight into that but he did the opposite and started to work, find out what he’s passionate about, and then choose that.
For me it was sort of… I won’t go straight into that immediately. I’ll um, you know work for a bit, and then see if I figure it out, you know, maybe who I am or what I want to do.
There’s no right or wrong answer, is there?
And it just means that-
It’s so on the individual, because Tim knew which course he wanted to study. His first consideration was choosing his course, then his university. And he said he chose his course based on the fact that he was the oldest in the family and that a lot of his family members were teachers as well. Whereas he got into university and after a year and he figured it wasn’t for him and actually deferred a couple of years which is an option that not everyone really knows about.
And it links back to what we’ve spoken about on previous episodes as well, where it’s not about only focusing if it’s on one – you know, year 12 school leavers for instance because we find that people are changing their degrees after two years, people are taking gap years. You sort have to be in the market and reaching a wide variety of audiences at all times.
So, is there, I don’t know, is there a way that as university you could be helping prospective students find out what their passionate about before they need to choose?
Yeah, so if we know that those students are thinking about a gap year, market them about, like present a whole of information or content about your exchange programs for example, so you’re obviously looking for that type of life experience overseas and universities actually often offer that.
Work experience as well, internships, things like that, so they’re not just sitting in a classroom, if they want to as you say, have life experience. They can travel, they can work in a, in a placement. There’s a lot of opportunities to not just go from school, high school to tertiary education, they can have other experience as well.