The University of Sussex was struggling to stand out from the hundreds of other institutions until the launch of a distinctive new identity helped deliver a significant increase in applications from students.
Universities have never had to work harder to attract funding and the best students. The University of Sussex, a leading teaching and research institution with an international reputation, was the first of the new wave of universities founded in the 1960s. When it opened in 1961, there were just 30 universities in the UK and its radical approach to higher education made it one of the country’s premier universities. Today there are 116 universities, and hundreds of other institutions offering higher education courses.
Making a marque in a competitive market
The introduction of fees has made students look much harder at the places where they choose to study, as they increasingly rely parental support and on bank loans which have to be repaid. As a result, the University of Sussex found that student numbers were declining, particularly in science subjects.
As well as growing competition, the University of Sussex like other public sector organisations, also has to deal with the erosion of government support and increasingly needs to raise funds through commercial partnerships and sponsorship.
In 2002, it restructured its schools and curriculum to improve the quality of its courses. The university also identified a clear need to communicate its strengths and personality to attract the best students, the best staff, and increased funding. In short, it needed a new brand.
About the university
The University of Sussex was the first of the new wave of universities founded in the 1960s, receiving its Royal Charter in August 1961. Forty years on, the University has become a leading teaching and research institution with some 10,500 students.
Until 2005, the number of university students has been consistently rising: 405,369 students were accepted onto UK higher education courses in 2005 - 28,000 more than 2004. Source:Universities and Colleges Admissions Service
The Number of overseas students acepted onto courses in 2005 rose by 4.3% - or 1,876 students - year on year. Source: UCAS