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'Use discount codes and special offers to attract students'

Business strategies such as discounts and vouchers could be used to boost college enrolments and help students to find the right courses, argues one college official

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Colleges should offer discount codes and vouchers aimed at incentivising students to continue their studies, a college leader has said.

In Morley College in London, half of students (50 per cent) return to study every year, in part due to a campaign of personalised offers that are sent out to current students. These include BOGOF (buy one get one free) codes, discounts, vouchers, and multi-buy options – such as booking two courses and getting the third course free. Some 100 learners at Morley College used promotional vouchers in the last academic year.

Writing in this week's Tes, Jon Cole, head of management information services at Morley College, argues that colleges need to "put business intelligence at the centre of decision-making". 

"If a student attends a performing arts course, they may be interested in dance or an exercise programme," Mr Cole writes. "They may welcome the offer of a place on a related course, at a reduced rate. We send personalised offers to students who have previously enrolled. Around 100 of our students made use of promotional vouchers in the past academic year."

This is an edited version of an article in the 27 October edition of Tes. Subscribers can read the full article here. To subscribe, click here. This week's Tes magazine is available at all good newsagents. To download the digital edition, Android users can click here and iOS users can click here.

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