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York isn't the story – it's those sleepwalking into trouble.


At S Squared, we are privileged to share insight derived from our proprietary database, covering fees, tariffs, IELTs and more for the whole sector, in reports and fee reviews for our clients. Of increasing concern to us, as we head into difficult times, are those institutions (not our clients) we see sleepwalking into trouble. These Universities have allowed international fees to be eroded by inflation, have only a handful of fee points across hundreds of products, and rely on the market to grow “organically” to meet targets.

In contrast, the University of York has been proactive and significantly increased the size of its Total Addressable Market (TAM). This describes the total population of potential customers who meet the criteria to purchase your product. In HE, for international students, these criteria are, IELTS, Tariff and Fee (and the greatest of these is Fee). This latest move by UoY follows a couple of cycles where they increased fees at a rate faster than most of the Russell Group. By pulling these two levers, fee and TAM, UoY should go some way to mitigate the financial risk of a particularly challenging year for international recruitment. Yes, there may be issues of reputation and ranking to consider but that is always easier from a position of financial strength.

If you aren’t having detailed conversations about the interplay of fee, reputation, tariff and language qualifications, that are informed by the best available data, then please get in touch for a conversation. We’d love to hear from you.

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Dr Julian Westwood

Director at S Squared Insights

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