Case study

Analysis of Level 3 learner data informs HE portfolio development

Michael Bennett
Head of Student Recruitment
London Metropolitan University

The problem

In response to a period of significant decline in the number of new students coming to the university, and in a move to build a strong strategy for recovery and growth, London Metropolitan University commissioned RCU to carry out a detailed analysis of the Level 3 student pipeline and identify opportunities and growth areas within the university’s local recruitment area.

The solution

By splitting up the analysis of the Level 3 learner market into three distinct themes: Students, Curriculum and Demographics, and uploading all outputs to our Vector market intelligence tool and reporting platform form, we were able to present a detailed and informative picture of the potential feeder market to London Met.

The university were able to use the online Vector tool to explore learner volumes and identify trends and demand for A Levels, Level 3 Applied General, Technical qualifications and apprenticeships within the local catchment area. The Level 3 curriculum was mapped against the portfolio offered by the university so at a departmental level they could identify potential demand, set appropriate targets and identify new areas of provision to be added.

In addition, we included a range of demographic information, from deprivation and Key Stage 5 attainment rates to HE participation (POLAR) with a focus on social mobility in the region, to support the university’s informed, inclusive and targeted recruitment strategy.

Vector screenshots

The outcome

The response from the team at London Metropolitan University has been really positive. For the first time the curriculum teams within each of the six academic schools and have been able to identify trends and potential demand within their own curriculum areas. They can see exactly what courses Level 3 learners are studying and the potential demand progressing to HE which has informed target setting and portfolio development.

Using the evidence provided, the team have successfully received approval from the Board to identify new course opportunities across a range of curriculum areas including IT / Digital and Engineering to address the gaps within the current portfolio.
London Met can now also see this potential demand mapped out across key recruitment areas, enabling the marketing and recruitment team to be more focused and targeted in their work with local schools and colleges and pick out underrepresented communities, improving access to higher education in these areas.

The University is extremely optimistic that this investment will help them deliver a strategy for growth and provide a strong and enticing curriculum aligned to the needs and demands of their local community.

"We are really pleased with the results the team at RCU have delivered which have already had a hugely positive impact at London Met. For the first time we have the evidence we need to deliver a curriculum which is aligned to demand and meets the needs of our future students. Going forward we will also be able to carry out far more targeted recruitment campaigns, delivering growth for the University."