The influence and engagement of parents in the education of their children, from primary school through to university, is an observed trend in the UK and internationally. Parents are a critical stakeholder group in the tuition fees era and the hypothesis is that parents will become more involved and influential in their son/daughter’s HE decision making in light of the new fees scheme for September 2012. The parents of overseas students have traditionally always been a major influence as many sponsor their student’s international education and have certain expectations
The Knowledge Partnership will be offering universities and colleges the opportunity to become partners in an exclusive research and best practice development programme. You can download the full research programme by clicking here.
The 2012 programme will build on previous groundbreaking research completed 5 years ago – understood to be the most comprehensive study of university-parental engagement ever published.
The 12 universities that subscribed in 2007 have been able to introduce new and enhanced practices to ensure parents are appropriately informed, engaged and reassured. Open and applicant day talks and tours for parents can be designed to ensure they press all the right buttons and cover all the essential information.
If you subscribe to the programme you will have the opportunity to influence the scope and design of the project to ensure it meets your institution’s needs. The following components are indicative of the envisaged scope:
- Research with UK parents of both current and perspective students/applicants (surveys, interviews) – needs, wants, hopes, fears, experiences and opinions.
- Research with parents of prospective international students to identify their priorities, concerns, perceived influence, communication needs and channels, awareness of UK higher education and subscriber brands.
- Research with parent-engaging staff at subscriber institutions (surveys, interviews) including an evaluation of your current practice and recommended improvements.
- Literature review of professional and academic studies concerned with parental influence on the education and career choices of their children and on parental engagement in education.
- Analysis of university websites to assess online information designed specifically for parents of current and prospective students and to identify examples of good/innovative practice in engaging parents – universities in the UK, USA and selected internationally competitive countries.
- An optional extra would be to evaluate the subscriber open/applicant days from a parental perspective (including observational, pre and post interviews and surveys).
In order to make the research outputs as relevant/bespoke to your institution as possible, subscribers will need to facilitate access to both parent-engaging staff (e.g. in residences, admissions, enquiry centres, education liaison, etc) and the parents of first-year students (to take part in an online survey, recruited through contact with your students).