In the realm of higher education, some specialized universities, despite excelling in their respective fields, can gradually fade from the spotlight if they fail to actively promote themselves. Over time, they may face dwindling student enrollments and the need to seek alternative strategies.
Once upon a time, the following three universities were particularly favored by non-elite students. However, due to rankings or other factors, they have started to fade from the mainstream view. Despite their frequent outreach efforts, including scholarships and incentives, these universities find themselves in a less prominent position.
Today, we discuss a few UK universities that have gradually been overlooked by Chinese students, transitioning from popular choices to lesser-known options.
The University of Leicester is actually a well-known institution in the UK, but it has struggled to make a significant impact on Chinese students. Many students have a relatively faint impression of the university and even consider it inconspicuous.
In my personal opinion, this university is actually quite good, but it has been overshadowed by the radiance of other institutions. The University of Leicester is not a comprehensive university; it primarily focuses on science, medicine, humanities, social sciences, and media studies. It has particularly achieved remarkable research results in fields such as archaeology, sociology, and English literature. However, due to the preference of Chinese students for business and engineering disciplines, the level of interest in the University of Leicester remains very low.
Let’s not even mention the business programs offered by the University of Leicester. Even though the university actively provides scholarships, it is still subject to criticism, with students perceiving these efforts as a sign of desperation, believing that the university is struggling and resorting to such measures to attract students. Even friendly gestures like extending olive branches have become perceived as acts of weakness. It’s frustrating, isn’t it?
When considering the student experience, the University of Leicester is worth recommending. The campus environment is pleasant, situated in the historic city of Leicester. This city boasts a rich history and cultural heritage, creating a harmonious and enjoyable living atmosphere. Additionally, Leicester enjoys a convenient geographical location, with close proximity to Birmingham and London, offering easy transportation connections.
However, from Leicester’s own perspective, its decline in the QS rankings has rapidly eroded the recognition of domestic international students. Gradually, it has transformed from a leading institution in media studies to a third-tier university in the minds of Chinese students. This downward trend may still persist, further diminishing its reputation.
Cardiff University, situated in the capital city, holds a significant position in terms of overall strength within the UK. Many capital city universities, similar to domestic core 211 universities in China, enjoy a prominent status.
Cardiff University is currently facing unexpected challenges in student recruitment. Despite its QS ranking being within the top 200, the university’s popularity falls behind institutions like Newcastle University, which has managed to garner greater attention and interest.
The reasons behind this phenomenon are not attributed to Newcastle University’s superior performance in research, employment rates, or academic excellence. Instead, it is the result of Newcastle’s aggressive marketing strategies that have elevated its reputation above Cardiff University. As a consequence, many students perceive Newcastle as a rising star or a hidden gem in the academic landscape.
In fact, Newcastle University has successfully capitalized on these strategies to attract a larger pool of prospective students and secure additional resources. Such measures have been so effective that certain departments have even introduced application fees due to the overwhelming number of applicants. As a result, Newcastle has become a popular choice for students, including those from less prestigious academic backgrounds who see it as a reliable fallback option.
When it comes to overall strength, Cardiff University surpasses Newcastle University in multiple fields, including media studies, business school, and medical school. In many aspects, Cardiff has the upper hand over Newcastle.
However, despite its superiority, Cardiff University seems to struggle in promoting its strengths effectively. The university’s failure to market itself has resulted in a lack of recognition and attention. As the saying goes, “The squeaky wheel gets the grease.”
Liverpool University’s future prospects may have been significantly impacted if not for the continuous influx of students from Xi’an Jiaotong-Liverpool University (XJTLU) and the ongoing efforts to enhance its reputation. Several factors have contributed to the decline of Liverpool University, including a notable prevalence of negative comments, media coverage of theft incidents, and misbehavior by unruly individuals, which have collectively shaped a less favorable perception among prospective Chinese students.
One key factor influencing the declining appeal of Liverpool University is the abundance of negative news and criticism surrounding the institution. Instances of theft, disruptive behavior, and other unfavorable incidents have attracted significant media attention, leaving a less-than-stellar impression on Chinese students considering Liverpool as their educational destination.
Liverpool University has faced a series of challenges in recent years, leading to concerns over its stability and academic standing. The institution’s lackluster faculty has been a prominent issue, with talented professors finding better opportunities elsewhere. Additionally, the university’s provisions for international students, while not the worst among universities ranked between 100 and 200, have still fallen short of expectations.
Another significant factor contributing to Liverpool University’s decline is its sharp drop in rankings. Currently hovering around the top 200, there is a looming risk of falling below this threshold in the coming years. Current students express their frustration, questioning the university’s strategies and urging it to learn from successful institutions like the University of Southampton.
It is no surprise that even students from Xi’an Jiaotong-Liverpool University (XJTLU) are less enthusiastic about supporting Liverpool University. Many high-achieving students opt for better-ranked universities, leaving Liverpool as a secondary choice. Even those with lower grades prefer to explore alternative options such as Exeter and Queen Mary University of London (QMUL).
In recent years, the popularity of three universities, namely Cardiff, Leicester, and Liverpool, has been on the decline. Prior to the extensive influence of the QS rankings on Chinese students, these universities each had their own appeal.
Back then, the emphasis on subject rankings made Cardiff, Leicester, and Liverpool attractive options, boasting notable strengths in various fields. However, with the reshuffling of rankings, certain aspects of these universities became less relevant in the eyes of students.
International students are a significant source of revenue for many programs, and as the annual exodus of students continues, the universities struggle to retain high-quality faculty and provide competitive welfare benefits. Consequently, talented professors choose to leave, while those of average caliber remain. This perpetuates a detrimental cycle for the universities.