Case study

College Recruitment and Curriculum SWOT Analysis

Simon Kirby - Director of Marketing & Communications

Simon Kirby
Director of Marketing and Communications,
Nottingham College

The problem

Nottingham College was formed as a result of the merger between New College Nottingham and Central College Nottingham in June 2017, creating a brand-new college for the city. Following this merger, the college identified the need for and commissioned RCU to carry out a detailed SWOT analysis of their local learner market in order to develop a new strategic plan for marketing and recruitment and to inform the joint curriculum offer.

The solution

Using the Vector market intelligence tool, RCU were able to identify the current size and trends in the local learner market alongside any potential growth or decline resulting from demographic changes.

We carried out an in-depth analysis, using Nottingham College’s own enrolment figures and market share at a local level to identify geographical areas which presented the most opportunity for growth.

In addition, we mapped out the college’s curriculum profile, in each of their core funding streams, and compared these to the overall profile of subjects and courses delivered by other providers in the local area. This was then used to determine specific strengths, weaknesses and opportunities within the college curriculum (16-19 funded learners, adult learners and apprenticeships).

The outcome

The college prides itself on not only providing a centre of excellence for teaching and learning within the city of Nottingham but providing excellent opportunities for the local community to learn and develop a comprehensive range of skills for the workplace.
As a result of the analysis, Nottingham College have been able to identify strengths and weaknesses within their current curriculum offer, based on key indicators such as market share, size of the market and growth opportunity.

The following Matrix was used to segment both recruitment and curriculum areas, making it easier to identify areas of significant demand and those opportunities offering the greatest potential for growth.

Using the detailed course level data provided in Vector, the college have also been able to identify specific gaps in their curriculum and explore the potential of introducing new courses or designing marketing campaigns to promote awareness in these areas.

This analysis has also identified where the college typically has strong recruitment and a number of locations where there is greater potential for growth. This has enabled the college to get the most out of their marketing budget, maximising their ROI.

"The insight gained from this analysis has really helped drive our recruitment and curriculum strategy forward. Thanks to RCU we have been able to identify specific opportunities for growth and can plan our marketing communications more effectively, maximising our ROI. We are also able to ensure our curriculum offer is better informed by demand and provides the rights skills to our local community."