We have provided Portfolio Analysis reports for over twenty years for many university clients, designed specifically to look at viability strategies around Market Entry, Development & Exit (MEDE), ensuring a course portfolio is balanced and attractive to prospective students. We offer our standardised MEDE Portfolio Analysis Reports, but have also completed projects to the specification of clients, based on their own internal approach and format to ensure good internal stakeholder engagement.
Lancaster University Report
Working to a format designed by Lancaster University, we produced detailed reports analysing a wide range of complex data from numerous sources. We were asked to design an approach for synthesising and summarising the findings, and establishing strategic recommendations for senior staff. This was successful and decisions were taken swiftly based on informed recommendations and clarity around the use of data.
Primary research into youth attitudes
Research for the Report of the Independent Commission on Examination Malpractice for JCQ
TSR Insight worked with JCQ to conduct a quantitative survey into the views of 1800 young people in the Student Room, looking at exam malpractice, for example using mobile phones and social media. The survey ran from January to February 2019 and the population of interest was young people aged 16-19 across the UK, currently in education, from year 12 to the first year at university, also including those who have recently left education or were in a gap year.
Respondents were required to have recently experienced exams or assessments relevant to JCQ, including GCSE, A’ Levels, and vocational qualifications. Because of its unique position with The Student Room Group, TSR Insight was able to recruit the right target audience, reaching them through emails and links featured in relevant The Student Room forums. This research allowed JCQ to access a broad range of students to hear their views. The final results provided JCQ with an authentic insight into young people’s perceptions of malpractice.
Large quantitative survey report
The Student Room’s well received Options Survey delivers an incredibly large response of over 10,000 prospective, current and past students. In 2017 and 2018 we undertook the analysis and report writing for this survey. The findings and insights gained from this work have been used in a number of ways, including by TSR Insight and The Student Room at as part of a workshop at YMS Voxburner in London in March 2018.
International market research and analysis
TSR Insight produces a great deal of research associated with international marketing and recruitment. This includes course development, pricing and scholarship positioning, at a strategic level around the structure of the offer, and other areas such as London campuses. A pricing and scholarship project for the University of Bradford delivered extensive desk research comparing both the offer and the communication of the offer at competitor institutions. It provided recommendations around best strategic and communications practice and competitive positioning. The client required a full report with appendices including an Executive Summary. TSR Insight also created an additional one page key strategic insights summary with five action points to enable senior staff to focus on immediate action and change.
Video content research and insight
Revolution Viewing asked TSR Insight to devise a research approach to answer some key questions around video content and emotional engagement. We designed a quantitative approach with strong qualitative elements. By triangulating prompted and open ended questions with real-time feedback, enabling respondents to indicate how much they did or didn’t like a video whilst watching it, we provided incredibly insightful and nuanced findings and recommendations. The research has been presented by Revolution Viewing to their clients and at many conferences, and with Julie Vincent, Insight Director, at CASE in 2017 and at the HEIST Insights Day 2017. By providing unique insight into what is appropriate for a university, it has supported university teams, informed Revolution Viewing’s approach, and sparked ideas for new solutions for their clients.
Brand and communications development
TSR Insight provides expert qualitative research, often delivered through face-to-face focus groups and depth interviews. Here are two examples:
New market entrant
This client wanted to know what people thought and would do, rather than simply canvassing their opinions. An easy trap to fall into with market research is asking what respondents think about something, but not challenging them to think about what they would actually do and choose. The work was extremely valuable to the client and had a significant impact on positioning and shaping the offer and communications.
Design concept testing
Design concept testing is valuable when produced independently of the design process. We understood client requirements and tested design concept perceptions and impact. The findings were enlightening and surprising, with preconceptions being challenged and unique insights gained. During fieldwork, TSR Insight took an iterative approach and added new areas to test, prompted by feedback from participants, and we were therefore able to contribute greatly to the creative process.
Staff engagement survey
TSR Insight worked closely with the Human Resources and Marketing Communications Departments at a large university to deliver a successful staff engagement survey for two years. TSR Insight was chosen over industry competitors to work with the senior team, to establish project objectives specific to the client and design, manage and deliver the approach with an external global agency. Julie Vincent, Insight Director, attended internal meetings and presented insightful findings to the senior management team, unions and governors.