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What Can Universities Do to Maintain a Strong Reputation?

Is it important for universities to have a strong reputation? It’s likely that when asked this question, most people would say ‘yes’.

How well regarded a university is can have a significant influence on how many people want to study there. Two of the most prestigious universities in the UK regularly see high numbers of applications, with over 23,000 people applying for one of the 3,300 undergraduate places at the University of Oxford and almost 20,500 applying for 4,700 places at the University of Cambridge in 2020.

But it’s not just Oxbridge that’s in demand. Prospective students put time and effort into doing their research to find the perfect place to study for the qualifications they want to gain. And while the course itself is important, attending a higher education establishment with a good reputation for a given student’s relevant field can potentially improve their career prospects. However, this isn’t necessarily as strong a factor as it once was, meaning that status alone might not be enough anymore.

Why is a Good Reputation Important?

We’ve already touched on why reputation is important. Here are some more reasons:

  • Build credibility and trust among students and others
  • Gain the advantage over other universities
  • A well-respected university can be good for the local economy.

So, what can universities do to maintain their strong reputation and continue to attract talented prospective students?

Listen to Students

Impact Rankings 2021: methodology | Times Higher Education (THE)

Students are the ones who are experiencing all the university has to offer. To find out how they feel about the university, survey them on how they’re finding their course, what they make of the university, and see if they have any thoughts on how things could be improved. For a rounded view, there could be a survey during the students’ time there and a follow-up one to see how they feel after they’ve left.

As well as receiving insights that could prove useful – especially if the same comments come up a lot – these higher education institutions are likely to build a reputation for listening to what their students have to say, and communicating with the people they’re educating can only be a good thing.

Hire the Best

Searching for the top teaching talent is a sure-fire way to build a good reputation. Building a department that’s headed by well-known names in their field will not only provide the highest standards of education but will attract students who want to learn from the best.

Seek Legal Advice

There may be times when it looks like the university’s reputation will be damaged. There might be a negative story in the media or a technical glitch that has caused errors in the admissions process. Whatever the case, if it looks like there could be a challenging time ahead, potentially resulting in the university being negatively impacted, it’s worth investing in guidance from a higher education lawyer who can navigate these tough times.

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