Application to Conversion: Academic staff

(6 Posts)
Mumteedum Sun 24-Apr-16 19:15:02

I'm a lecturer (fairly new to post) in a subject that has suffered with dropping student numbers since the cap removed. It seems to be almost solely down to the academic staff to try and tackle this issue and we're under pressure to not only in increase applications but convert them.

We've done well to increase applications thus year but the uptake of offers is disappointing so far.

I've been trying to look for help in working out what we can do , as ultimately it's my job I want to keep and I want the course to improve and do well.

I'd be interested to know how this is tackled elsewhere. I have seen job adverts in other universities for applicant conversion officers and marketing staff, so is it just that our top managers aren't supporting us with these sort of resources? There are online solutions too such as uni quest or other digital marketing companies.

Any experience in this area from academic staff or otherwise would be great to hear about.

hayita Sun 24-Apr-16 19:27:20

I have seen job adverts in other universities for applicant conversion officers and marketing staff, so is it just that our top managers aren't supporting us with these sort of resources?

Be careful what you wish for: increases in admin staff are almost always paid for by reductions in academic staff (and top slicing research grants, giving less support for research, not promoting staff etc etc).

From talking to my colleagues around the UK I think it is mainly seen as the job of departments to get more students in, with university admissions teams and comms/marketing there as back ups. This is for STEM subjects which do not have falling numbers but for which some higher ranked departments have expanded at the expense of others.

Mumteedum Sun 24-Apr-16 19:56:44

Good point hayita, thanks. I'm just feeling deflated that after such a boost in initial recruitment, we haven't converted well. I do all the social media stuff , we keep in touch with applicants, run events, etc but I don't know what else we can do.

I guess we don't know why numbers have dropped specifically so hard to address it.

caroldecker Sun 24-Apr-16 20:19:05

Is it just falling numbers at your uni, or across all unis in your subject - if the latter, you will struggle to make a difference.
Some unis are now making lower/unconditional offers to students who firm them as first choice - this may help.

Mumteedum Sun 24-Apr-16 20:55:41

I think this is part of the issue. I don't know. Maybe more experienced staff should know how to find this information. I fear it may be the latter but I'd like some data to confirm this. As I say, managed to get an increase in applications but have yet to convert many.

hayita Mon 25-Apr-16 08:26:00

Look at the HESA statistics for your subject's code. This however won't tell you about the ongoing UCAS cycle.

I suspect you are not a STEM subject, but if you are then you can pick up a lot of information about undergraduate student numbers from other departments' Athena SWAN applications.

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