Anglia Ruskin University
Undergraduate Prospectus 2018/19
Rethinking print for the iGeneration
Does the prospectus have a place in the digital age? Can print reach a generation raised on social media, smart phones and apps? Only if you are willing to throw everything up in the air and start from scratch…which is exactly what we did for Anglia Ruskin University this year.
Anglia Ruskin is an innovative global institution, welcoming students from over 185 countries across its campuses. And its star is rising, as evidenced by its 2016 debut in the Times Higher Education’s World University Ranking, where it placed joint 38th in the UK and in the top 350 universities in the world.
When we were invited to take on this project, the Anglia Ruskin Undergraduate Prospectus had been evolving organically for a number of years, with content simply being updated and amended for each new edition. The publication followed a directory format, with a dedicated page for each undergraduate course. This gave prospective students all the facts needed to make informed decisions. But weighing in at a hefty 287 pages, it was an unwieldy tome – uninspiring and unlikely to stray too far from the Careers Office.
It was time to completely rethink the prospectus for a post-millennial, tech-savvy audience; for students who want instant access to key facts and clear signposts to supplementary information online. It was also Anglia Ruskin’s moment to celebrate its strengths and own its place in the sector.
The new undergraduate prospectus needed to be smaller and smarter, with each page working harder to give prospective students what they want. By adopting a magazine format, we knew we could immediately create a more engaging and easy to digest guide to undergraduate life, highlighting the student experience and impressive new facilities, as well as the academics. Altering the layout and reducing the pagination would also help to reduce costs for the client and mitigate the risk of content being out of date almost as soon as it goes to print.
But how to start a job of this scale and the first of its kind in our portfolio? We chose to map the student journey, ensuring that the intended reader was front and centre from the outset.
The front cover of the new Anglia Ruskin Undergraduate Prospectus asks the question, ‘What will you be?’– reflecting the importance of graduate destinations in the increasingly competitive higher education market.
Opening with a range of career options in its first few pages, the prospectus then directs readers to the courses that might lead them into their chosen professions and presents them with impressive statistics, underlining the benefits of pursuing a degree at Anglia Ruskin whatever path they choose.
We replaced the individual, copy-heavy course pages with a double-page spread for each subject area. Clean and inviting, these spreads include a list of relevant course titles, as well as statistics, case studies and career progression information formatted into bite-sized chunks.
The course specifics, which are subject to frequent changes, are now only available online, along with video case studies and other rich, shareable content that bring the student experience to life. Hyperlinks and QR codes are included in the print to encourage readers to access this content and find out more.
With each edit and modification, we focused on enabling the reader to curate their own course information and play an active role in exploring whether Anglia Ruskin might be right for them.
The final prospectus is over 187 pages lighter than its predecessor and 10mm thinner, saving money and the environment. It is no longer a directory of information, but an attractive, engaging marketing tool that offers prospective students a taste of what’s on offer and invites them to get in touch, find out more and create their own futures.
Click here to download a copy of the finished work and look out for both the Postgraduate Prospectus and the International Guide, available online soon.