University Choice in the Era of Full Cost Fees: Pilot Study Phase 2

  • Moorhouse, Jan (CoI)
  • Barry, Cornelius (PI)
  • Dunnett, Andrew (CoI)
  • Walsh, Caroline (CoI)

Project: Other

Project Details


Phase 2 was a follow-up study of the original 400 respondents for Phase 1. It was carried out in September 2012. This was after students had made their actual choice of university. Of the original 400 respondents, 272 participated in Phase 2. The aim was to explore students actual choices (and trade offs/preferences) using conjoint analysis together with some qualitative questions designed to explore underlying reasons for their choices. We were interested to see if the reasons for their choice had shifted. We were also keen to see how reliable CA was and whether this quantitative technique could capture the nuanced thinking that goes with a decision to make such an important purchase.

Key findings

We found that the reasons for students' choices remained stable at the aggregate level, with course and university reputation remaining overwhelmingly important and price, if anything, less important.
However more work needs to be done to explore whether there was evidence of compensating error at the individual level.
The small sample size (272) meant that it was not always possible to confirm the significance of some patterns in the data. However there was some evidence of distinctive patterns of preferences for female students and students whose parents did not attend university.
Effective start/end date1/08/1212/07/13


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