|14th May 2020||Grace Parsons|
The storm clouds had been on the horizon for the 2020 undergraduate recruitment cycle long before Covid-19 ever emerged.
With the number of available recruits at the bottom of the demographic dip, set in the context of increasingly challenging financial times for HEIs, 2020 was already going to be incredibly competitive with universities striving to fulfil as many offers as possible. In the run-up to the end of 2019 there was increased scrutiny of the methods being used by universities to secure the best students, and it was widely reported that the Office for Students had warned universities to ‘not use inappropriate inducements’ to lock the highest achieving students into opting for their institution as their top choice.
Validating the criticality of getting the recruitment cycle and admissions process right for 2020, SUMS Consulting had been engaged by several member and non-member institutions to evaluate and optimise their recruitment, admissions and clearing processes, keen to fine-tune well-trodden paths, ensuring they were ready to receive, process and enrol applicants.
The plans and strategies that had been formed by universities were impacted with the arrival of Covid-19 when GCSEs, A/S and A-Level exams were cancelled on 18 March. It was apparent that what was already a pivotal year for university recruitment and admissions would become even more so because of the pandemic.
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