Let’s cast the National Clearing Survey spotlight over the Further Education sector

Categories National Clearing Survey

If you are working in the Further Education sector then your Clearing game needs to be strong – this is because more and more colleges are now giving students the opportunity to study Higher Education courses with them. The National Clearing Survey has revealed some differences in behaviour, compared to those students applying to traditional Higher Education institutions. These results will no doubt help colleges market themselves through the entire Clearing process, with carefully targeted marketing comms.

Are you an FE college offering HE courses? Then download our comprehensive HE in FE whitepaper. Or, get in touch with our team of digital experts, who will ensure that your College is standing out from the crowd throughout the year.

Ok, so what’s different?


  • Awareness of FE colleges, ahead of Results Day, is lower compared to other institutions.

Website searches

  • Students who chose to study HE at FE colleges were less likely to visit an institution’s website prior to A Level Results Day and less likely to have registered with an institution.

Finding information

  • Students studying HE at FE colleges were most likely to find out about their HE provider through their school or college; instead of friends, UCAS, education sites and search engines.

What are you going to do about it?

Launch awareness campaigns to help increase Clearing traffic to your website. Make sure your campaigns focus on a college’s HE offering, targeting the relevant audiences. Akero, our marketing performance platform, lets you measure and track every lead right through to conversion.

Drive visitors to HE information on your college’s website (through awareness campaigns) making sure to collect their data when they land on the site. The overall results of the NCS indicate that students are prepared to share their data, this means that colleges can build lists for targeting, as well as creating look-alike audiences for marketing their Clearing offering. Not quite sure how look-alike audiences work? Get in touch and we’ll give you the lowdown.

There are opportunities to increase the range of channels where students find out about a college’s HE courses.

  • Social media campaigns reach students and their friends within their networks. The most frequently used social media sites for this group are Snapchat, Facebook and YouTube. Head over to Edurank to benchmark your current social media activity against your key competitors.
  • Ensure listings on UCAS, online directories and education sites are up to date and engaging, and include both the course and college USPs.
  • Consider pay-per-click advertising, which is both effective and affordable. Focus on the profile of students you are most likely to attract when searching for courses online. Search Engine Optimisation will also get more traffic to your website via organic results. 

Oh, and one more thing…

Parents are important influencers. Consider campaigns that target them to raise awareness of your HE offering. This could be digital campaigns or, if your market is local, could be about bringing parents to your campus for special, targeted information evenings.

Download the full National Clearing Survey here.

Get in touch, our team of  Digital Analysts will develop your marketing strategy and generate more Clearing applications for your institution.

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