Below are a few recent client case studies, to give you a flavour of our work.
Community Research was commissioned by Preston College to explore its reputation with its key stakeholders (including current and potential students and parents, employers, carers teachers and headteachers). The research also explored the college’s brand essence and how well possible articulations of the brand resonated with stakeholders. The research was used to directly inform the college’s strategic and communications planning.
University of Leicester
Research and Consultation
Community Research has conducted a range of research and consultancy projects on behalf of the University, including:
- Research to explore what, if any, impact its changing student profile (in terms of an increasing proportion of international students) was having on students’ experiences at the University. Seven group discussions, with students studying on a range of courses with a particularly high proportion of international students, were conducted by Community Research.
- Research to inform a review of the Careers, Learning Support and Student Enterprise services provided by the Student Support and Development Services (SSDS) function in order to identify how it could better meet student needs. The research programme conducted comprised seven discussion groups with students, an online survey of 500 students and an online discussion board with distance learners.
- Qualitative and quantitative research to inform the University's review of its two current magazines to identify opportunities to maximise their reach, generate more interest and ideally more income. With a number of potential routes for development, the University wished to undertake research with recipients to identify their needs, interests and motivations. The research comprised an 'immersion day' at the University to be fully briefed on the context for the research, an online survey with a final sample of 1,175 magazine recipients and 15 in-depth telephone interviews.
- Community Research designed and facilitated a workshop of 20 internal stakeholders at the University. The objectives of the workshop were to bring all interested stakeholders up to speed on a number of initiatives for post graduate students and to consider, discuss and seek to develop a shared understanding of the nature and needs of current (and future) postgraduate learners. Consideration was also given to how this market might segment and stakeholders were provided with an opportunity to collaboratively develop new ideas, building on current initiatives, for the future development of the University’s post graduate offer.
University of Warwick
Brand Research and New Course Development
Given the changing landscape in which universities are operating, the University of Warwick commissioned Community Research to conduct some research with key stakeholders in order to explore perceptions and experiences of the University of Warwick; explore the strengths and weaknesses of the University of Warwick and investigate perceptions of the University’s unique strengths and brand essence. A qualitative approach was used in order to explore the perceptions of a range of audiences, including current students, alumni, senior management, academic and non-academic staff, graduate employers and key partners/investors. This was followed by some further qualitative research with staff to explore the perceptions of the existing organisational values and amend and refresh these organisational values if / as necessary.
Following on from the brand research, the University of Warwick commissioned Community Research to carry out qualitative market research to test certain key aspects of a potential new degree programme. The overarching aim of the research was to ascertain opinions from Year 12 students and careers advisers on whether the general direction of the degree was appealing. The research tested a number of aspects including the general appeal of the degree, barriers, costs and career prospects after graduation.
Community Research was commissioned to design and undertake a piece of research to gather the views of varied audiences on the University of London’s School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS) brand. An open access online survey was undertaken. E-mails were sent out to a mixed sample of contacts and a link to the survey was also included on alumni web pages. The feedback received was analysed and reported back to the SOAS marketing team in the form of a debrief presentation. The work has been used to inform the on-going development of the SOAS brand and has allowed the marketing team to target communications more effectively to the variety of international markets where SOAS has an interest.
1994 Group Universities'
Community Research was commissioned by a syndicate of 7 of the UK's top universities (including Leicester, Bath, and Goldsmiths, University of London) to conduct research about their reputations. The universities, all members of the 1994 Group, jointly commissioned the work which explored how the various Higher Education Institutions are perceived by both middle class consumers and key opinion leaders. Key Driver Analysis was conducted for each University to help each institution to understand the drivers of their own reputation and of the leading ‘best in class' Higher Education Institution. The syndicated research was then repeated two years’ later in order to track trends.