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Our 2019 Clearing campaign wins prestigious CASE Award

19 Jun 2020

Each year the CASE Circle of Excellence Awards recognise hundreds of institutions around the world for their innovative, inspiring and creative ideas


Our 2019 Clearing campaign has won a Circle of Excellence Award in the Marketing category in the 2020 CASE Awards.

As a University, we did not always give the same attention to marketing of Clearing vacancies as we did to those earlier in the cycle. However, faced with an upward trend in students choosing to go to university through Clearing, the launch of "Clearing self-release" from UCAS—as well as growth strategies from competitor institutions and the potential impact of the Augar review—we had to reconsider our approach, and do so quickly. 

A team of 15 staff members from across recruitment, international, marketing, content, admissions, design and digital, mapped out a student’s journey on A-level results day, to better understand the target audience, along with quantitative surveys, user testing sessions and stakeholder interviews. Our Clearing website pages were revamped, to simplify messaging and provide a more visual, exciting user experience. Clearing website page banners were used to indicate course availability and provide better signposting.

On A-level results day, a social media and personalised video campaign was launched, responding to enquiries as diverse as which football team to support to responding to a tweet from an offer holder’s mum. Our alumni were also involved, submitting videos from around the world congratulating offer holders.

Responding to our entry, the CASE judging panel said: “This was an outstanding entry - and the best in this category. The campaign was clearly done on a shoestring and yet was very innovative, built on market intelligence, had clear goals, a solid methodology and impressive results in the face of a complex and changing student recruitment context in the UK.

“The personalisation achieved serves as a good model to other institutions and should encourage the sector to realise how much can be achieved for very little money.”

Claire Brown, Acting Director of the Division of Communications and Marketing said: “I’m delighted that our 2019 Clearing campaign has been recognised by CASE, especially as it required very little marketing budget but was driven by the creativity and enthusiasm of all teams involved to give our students a much more personalised welcome to our University.

“The teamwork and lessons learned are being put into practice for this year’s campaign, when student recruitment marketing is more important than ever during these challenging times.”