Durham launches project to “understand students’ university journey”

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The University Executive Committee has revealed plans to undertake a project which will follow students’ current university journeys in order to improve and better define the student pathway that Durham University wants to offer in the future. Leading the project is John Hemingway, Chief Information Officer, on behalf of the University’s Deputy Vice-Chancellor and Provost, Professor Antony Long.

Palatinate will be exclusively interviewing Prof. Long tomorrow on the project, and we invite questions from our readers for this.

Durham University has said that “as a Top 100 global higher education institution, we aspire to continually develop and grow our reputation, and our international presence. To support this, we need a student journey to rival the very best in the world.”

Expanding on the work begun by Recruiting the Next Generation of Students (RNGS) project, the University wants to deepen their understanding of how they appeal to students and how this translates into enrolment.

This project is the first of its kind at Durham and specifically aims to discover what makes it preferable to other universities, what keeps students engaged while they study here, and what brings them back for postgraduate study or to connect as alumni.

The project hopes to “identify a potential future student journey that is right for Durham University.”

Deemed crucial for exploring these questions, the project will delve into the marketing, recruitment and admissions processes and activities performed by the University. It will create a picture of each step of the student journey, starting with the moment when prospective students first consider Durham, and continuing with their time at university and their relationship with it upon graduation. 

From mapping out the end-to-end development process, the project hopes to “identify a potential future student journey that is right for Durham University.” As of April 2021, the evaluation will be made open to all for ongoing conversation, debate and consultation. 

Already highly selective, Durham University wants a review of marketing, recruitment and admissions activity to help them identify and target the “strongest possible students from a diverse range of backgrounds.”

Whilst its home student market will always be heavily relied upon, the University is placing an increased emphasis on the importance of building a more diverse student body than currently exists.

The review intends to highlight ways in which “tangible changes” can be brought about and improvements made in time for the 2021/22 admissions cycle and beyond. 

Mr Hemingway is due to discuss the project at the upcoming Senior Leadership Townhall Meeting on Thursday 11 February, 3.30-4.30pm. To register to attend, click here.

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