Information, advice and guidance



Managing Students’ Expectations of University
Harriet Dunbar-Morris
1994 Group Student Experience Policy Group, November 2010

“As part of the JISC-funded Student Expectations of University project, aimed at enhancing applicants’ understanding of university experiences, the 1994 Group have produced this report to illustrate innovative and excellent practice in the areas of:

> communicating with prospective students;

> providing information, advice and guidance (IAG) to applicants;

> managing student expectations of university.

All of the examples of best practice given in this report are about universities helping students learn and research as much as possible about their institutions and courses before enrolling, making them therefore less likely to consider dropping out.

The case studies presented highlight the success of engaging students themselves in the provision of IAG. This kind of partnership is particularly valuable when it comes to explaining the difference between learning at school and learning at university which is key to student retention.

The report highlights the need to consider providing IAG in four different areas: capacity building; academic experience; social experience; and professional services; and using a variety of means to achieve this, from websites and web resources to social media.

In an increasingly competitive HE sector the need for the type of IAG highlighted in this report will become more, not less, important, and increasingly so if student contributions to their higher education rise. As the Independent Review of Higher Education Funding and Student Finance indicated, information is essential to deliver choice to a diverse student population, whilst our research indicates that information must be coupled with advice and guidance if it is to drive well-informed decision-making.”


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