Watch­dog tells six uni­ver­si­ties to scrap ad­verts

The Guardian - - NATIONAL - Mark Sweney and Sally Weale

Six uni­ver­si­ties have been forced to scrap their mar­ket­ing cam­paigns as the UK ad­ver­tis­ing watch­dog launches a crack­down on false claims that mis­lead stu­dents.

The Ad­ver­tis­ing Stan­dards Au­thor­ity (ASA) ex­am­ined a range of claims – in­clud­ing the Univer­sity of Le­ices­ter stat­ing that it was in the “top 1%” in the world – and found that none of the as­ser­tions could be proved to be true.

Claims in­clude Fal­mouth Univer­sity say­ing it was the UK’s “num­ber one arts and cre­ative univer­sity”; Teesside Univer­sity say­ing it was the “top univer­sity in Eng­land for long-term grad­u­ate prospects”; the Univer­sity of Strath­clyde claim­ing its physics depart­ment had been ranked as “num­ber one in the UK”; the Univer­sity of East Anglia say­ing it was in the “top five for stu­dent sat­is­fac­tion”; and the Univer­sity of West London claim­ing it had been named as “London’s top mod­ern univer­sity – and one of the top 10 in the UK”.

The ASA said that the uni­ver­si­ties’ tac­tics broke the UK ad­ver­tis­ing code. It banned them from mak­ing the claims and as­ser­tions in the fu­ture.

The ASA has launched the crack­down to ad­dress “in­creas­ing con­cerns” about the way uni­ver­si­ties en­tice stu­dents, af­ter the is­sue was thrust into the spot­light in June when the Univer­sity of Read­ing was forced to with­draw its claim that it was in the top 1% of in­sti­tu­tions glob­ally.

“Our rul­ings send a clear mes­sage to UK uni­ver­si­ties,” said Guy Parker, chief ex­ec­u­tive of the ASA. “If you’re mak­ing claims about your na­tional or global rank­ing, stu­dent sat­is­fac­tion or grad­u­ate prospects, make sure you prac­tise what you teach: play by the ad­ver­tis­ing rules.”

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from UK

© PressReader. All rights reserved.