Universities are to face a crackdown on how they advertise their institution to hopeful students.
The Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) warns universities not to mislead or exaggerate when promoting themselves, and their courses.
Hundreds of thousands of young people apply to university each year, but with inaccurate claims being used in advertisements – they are being misinformed.
The University of Reading was forced to take back the claim that it is in the top 1% of the world’s universities, as it could not be proven as true.
Tougher guidelines are needed to tackle this kind of disingenuous marketing.
Applicants may assume that information in the advertisements, or on the university’s website is true – particularly as they would have little knowledge about university rankings.
According to the ASA website, they are aware of more educational institutions that are in breach of the advertising code.
The University of Bedfordshire is among those in question.
They claimed to have ‘gold standard’ teaching quality – but it was proved that they only held a silver award in the new teaching excellence ratings.
Universities face large amounts of competition, particularly in the UK.
Therefore it comes as no surprise that they use bold claims to try to stand out.
With more applicants, comes more money for these institutions – but is it fair to mislead uninformed and vulnerable people for this?
Maintaining a well-respected reputation is key for universities to receive large numbers of applicants and funding.
However, as the ASA cracks down more and more on false advertising claims – many universities could be exposed as misleading.
This could cause media speculation and lead to an institution’s reputation being damaged…so why would they continue to take this risk?