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The 2009 recruitment and admissions cycle has been one of the most dynamic ever to be managed by the University.
Although pleasingly applications across all cohorts grew – Home/EU Undergraduate applications by 6.4% (UCAS Applications digest Jan 2009), International Undergraduate applications by 21%, Home/EU Postgraduate Taught by 19% and International Postgraduate Taught by 23% (Spider, July 2009) the admissions cycle was challenged by a number of external factors.
Claire Brown, Director of Student Recruitment and Admission, said: “Early in the New Year the Government sent a message to HEIs that they should ‘avoid any further increases in full-time Home/EU undergraduate and PGCE entrants above the level of actual admissions in 2008/09’. With the threat of a considerable fine for overshooting it was essential that decisions around confirmation and clearing were considered at an institutional level. Only when this position was clear could recruitment through clearing be clear.
“This was a significant change from practice in previous years when it has been possible to manage Budget Centre targets independently.
“Although the overall recruitment strategy for recruiting students through Clearing had been agreed, the actual number of insurance offer holder accepting the offer of place was significantly higher than forecast. This led to last minutes changes and a decision to request that the Clearing Call Centre put offer making on-hold until the overall position could be ascertained.
“In addition, while applications for international recruitment grew significantly, there were concerns across the sectors as to how the introduction of the new Points Based Visa might impact on recruitment. As with the introduction of any new system there were a number of teething troubles with advice from the UKBA changing on a regular basis and rules interpreted in different ways by Entry Clearance Officers in different countries. This created challenges for the admissions teams and students alike and led to the introduction of an e-crm campaign to ensure that students were able to contact the University if they were experiencing difficulties with the visa process.”
As anticipated, in some countries there were significant backlogs in visa processing and this led to the Vice Chancellor’s request that the registration deadline be extended to 23 October.
In spite of these challenges the University has recorded a successful year:
Home/EU UG recruitment was a little below target (4008 v 4122) but this has been compensated for by higher than anticipated retention of students. The recruitment position for undergraduates must be set in the context of the HEFCE requirement that we should not exceed last year’s intake, which necessitated very careful management of the Clearing process.
Home/EU PGT at 659 is below our target of 710 but nevertheless represents an increase of 3.7% compared with 2008-09.
Overseas/International UG: we recruited 344 direct undergraduates this increase of 15.44% when compared with December 2008. 339 new students have now arrived from XJTLU, an increase of 264% in comparison to Entry 2008. In addition 98 students have progressed from the Foundation Certificate at LIC, this is an increase of 38% in comparison to Entry 2008.
Overseas/International PGT: If we exclude Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine (65), the University has recruited 667 new PGT students for Entry 2009. 593 students were directly recruited to the University; this represents an increase of 33% on 2008-09 and partly reflects greater focus on international agents to grow the University’s share of the international recruitment market. In addition, 74 students have progressed from the Graduate Diploma at Liverpool International College and this is an increase of 236% in comparison to 2008-09.
Liverpool International College – Recruitment into the College remains buoyant and increased focus will be placed this year on improving the numbers of students progressing from the College into the University.
Home/EU PGR: numbers are still fluid as PGR students do not necessarily start at the beginning of the session, but 255 HEU PGRs are currently registered, a 34% increase on 2008-09.
Overseas/International PGR: If we exclude Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine, 56 OSI PGR students have registered, compared with 61 at the same point last year.
Claire added: “The Student Recruitment and Admissions Office would like to take this opportunity to thank all staff for their support in achieving these targets – We look forward to working with you to improve them for entry 2010!”
Further details of our recruitment strategies and updates of our admissions procedures will be provided through a series of briefings to staff early in the New Year.
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