The University of Gloucestershire has ended the production of printed prospectuses in favour of digital-only versions.
The move away from a traditional printed prospectus, believed to be one of the first in the UK, is part of the university’s new “Who Cares? We Do” campaign which taps into what today’s students care about.
University prospectuses traditionally showcase what each institution can offer students, from courses and departments to accommodation and student life.
Research by the University of Gloucestershire suggests more than 2.5 million prospectuses are printed by UK universities each year – a figure based on at least one prospectus per student. It is predicted that this number could be even higher.
However, it is widely accepted that only a handful of pages are read and many end up in the bin as prospective students search for the specific information they want online instead.
The university has worked with current undergraduate students to develop an interactive digital prospectus and a suite of Instagram stories which replace the traditional prospectus used by universities across the UK.
The University is proud to be ranked first for sustainability in the UK. Doing away with the traditional hard copy prospectus is a further step we can take in applying the principles of sustainability across everything we do
As well as providing all the information students need about courses and academic requirements, the new digital kit tackles the issues that matter most to prospective university applicants and what represents value for them: from fitting in and getting the right support, to getting their career kick-started and also tackling one of the wider issues that today’s students care about: climate change.
Instead of picking up a bulky printed prospectus, visitors to the University of Gloucestershire’s stand will be given a paper wristband filled with wildflower seeds and printed with a QR code allowing them to scan and access the digital prospectus at www.glos.ac.uk/whocares , as well as a nametag to its Instagram page to watch the stories.
And to discourage the use of single use plastic, the university will also be giving away edible cordial pods made from seaweed which dissolve instantly to create a packaging-free drink.
Stephen Marston, Vice-Chancellor at the University of Gloucestershire, said: “The University is proud to be ranked first for sustainability in the UK. Doing away with the traditional hard copy prospectus is a further step we can take in applying the principles of sustainability across everything we do.
“At the same time, we have taken the opportunity to rethink not just the communication medium but the content, to ensure we are giving students information about the things that matter to them. Information about course content and academic management remains key.
“But so does information about some of the more personal aspects of being at university. Questions like ‘will I fit in?’, ‘what support is available?’ ‘is it worth it?’ and ‘where will my degree take me?’ are also real issues that students care about when making important decisions for their future.
“At the University of Gloucestershire, we aim to be an academic community that values human relationships and the wider wellbeing of our students and community. Our Who Cares initiative reflects that goal.”