University student marketing spend up 22%

UK universities increased spending on marketing to potential students by nearly a quarter in the run-up to the introduction of higher fees, a Times Higher Education investigation has found, reports David Matthews. Yet they suffered a 7.4% fall in applications.

Commentators have suggested that this type of expenditure will continue to rise owing to the ‘circular logic of the market’, despite it being a ‘zero-sum game’ for the sector because overall undergraduate places are capped. Spending at the 70 institutions that responded to a THE Freedom of Information request rose from £26.1 million (US$41 million) in the 2010-11 financial or academic year to £31.9 million in 2011-12. This represents a 22.4% increase and an average spend per institution of £455,461.
Full report on the Times Higher Education site