Universities face competition

Universities have been told they will need to up their PR game as the teenage population dips and competition for students increases.

The number of 18- to 20-year-olds - who make up more than 70 per cent of entrants to full-time undergraduate programmes - is projected to fall by more than 100,000 between 2009 and 2020. Universities UK, which released the findings earlier this year, advises universities that competition will increase for the limited number of students. It says universities will have to consider alternative markets.

Justin Shaw, education practice director at Communications Management, told PRWeek: 'It's going to make competition even more intense. You have to stand out from the crowd. Universities need to think about what they say about themselves and how they differentiate themselves.'

Universities would have to learn how to market themselves to international students and postgraduates, he added.

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