Decisions, decisions, decisions: an exploration of factors affecting the decision-making of ‘Uni Connect’ students, when choosing higher education study

Richard Poole*, Dominic Thompson, David Galloway

*Corresponding author for this work

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    Abstract

    This paper investigates influences on the decision-making process, during the consideration of applying to university, for UK further education college students from a widening participation background (Uni Connect). Much previous research has explored the international student recruitment market, however, there is relatively little literature concerning UK home student recruitment, particularly related to widening participation groups. Three semi-structured interviews were conducted with eight, second-year, level 3 vocational students, during their final year of college study. Findings suggest that Uni Connect students seek multiple sources of information and engage with a multitude of touch points, with the context of these interactions playing a significant role in influencing university choice. The exhibition of predominately rational rather than emotive behaviours and the use of multiple touch points, suggests that Uni Connect students take an iterative approach to their decision-making. The decision-making process appears to be individualised, with no equivocal or homogenic pattern emerging.
    Original languageEnglish
    Number of pages22
    Journal Journal of Marketing for Higher Education
    Early online date7 Nov 2023
    DOIs
    Publication statusEarly online - 7 Nov 2023

    Keywords

    • decison-making
    • widening participation
    • higher education marketing
    • choice factors
    • information sources

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