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University of Dundee

Affecting the drop in UK numbers for University of Dundee during Clearing 2022

According to UCAS, over the past few years, English applicants to Scottish universities have been decreasing, with a -17% drop in English acceptances to Scottish universities in 2022. The pandemic and Brexit have affected rest of UK (rUK) numbers across Scotland, with English universities becoming more competitive in the local space to make up for a loss of EU students. Moreover, in recent years little branding work had been done in this market from University of Dundee (UoD), as in the past it had been a more buoyant market.

What was the challenge

Clearing offered an important opportunity to make up for the downturn of rUK numbers. The campaign would focus on raising awareness of UoD amid a very noisy market, and putting it in the minds of students and parents ahead of results day in order to be front and centre on the day itself.

What was our solution

We used third-party media such as IDP, Prospects and The Times to help with brand awareness. We then complimented this activity with digital channels such as Google, Facebook, Instagram and Tik-Tok which allowed us to run different messaging and re-target our audience.

Each message focused on one of four key groups. UoD anticipated that their ‘traditional Clearing student’ would probably miss grades for offers held and would be in a panic and looking for alternatives. Their ‘direct-to-Clearing’ student probably wouldn’t have interacted with UCAS before results day, and their ‘early-researchers’ would be looking at options ‘just in case’. Then, of course, there are the ‘parents’ group of these students. All four groups would need easy and immediate access to information regarding Clearing, and this is what UoD wanted to focus on.

With this in mind, the focus wasn’t on securing acquisitions on results day. The campaign’s focus was on driving prospective students and their parents to register for more information about Clearing with UoD in the months leading up to it. By doing this, it meant that on results day their audience already knew what the process would be and what their options were with UoD, empowering their audience to call the UoD Clearing hotline on the day itself.

What were the results

The main acquisition point we tracked was the ‘submit’ button on the registration form that was used to request more information about Clearing. 1,065 users registered for more information ahead of results day, resulting in a cost-effective, overall cost-per-action (CPA) of £51.

Other notable metrics included:

- 5,129,183 impressions served across the campaign.

- A total of 47,568 clicks recorded at a cost-per-click (CPC) of £1.15

For more information on our Clearing campaigns, or for help to get the students and staff you need, contact our Head of Education, Jane Johns at