I’ve just been reading through a fascinating analysis of student expectations of higher education.

James, R. (2001).  Students’ changing expectations of higher education and the
consequences of mismatches with the reality

Here’s a wee snippet

Broadly, the findings of the CSHE research suggest many applicants are not in a good position to judge the appropriateness of programs for them or to assess the features of courses overall. Many prospective students base their planning on quite limited, subjective information. We found that many prospective students do not rigorously seek information and their information-seeking skills are often modest. As a consequence, university applicants’ draw on chance encounters and questionable sources when shaping their thoughts about suitable courses. Many prospective students seem to work on a superficial set of ideas about curricula being more or less ‘applied’, ‘analytical’, ‘practical’ or ‘hands on’. In most cases, they accept on faithwhat they are told and are highly susceptible to the serendipity of word-of-mouth testimony.”  (James, Baldwin,McInnis 1999 as cited in James, 2001)

I find this interesting because it implies that some of the best marketing we could do would involve getting out there and educating the public as to what our profession does, and what the process of studying towards our relevant qualification involves.

But this is by no means the only material of interest in the article.  It’s worth a read.