Having worked together before on a number of student experience projects, Sheffield Hallam Students’ Union commissioned Alterline to support their strategic visioning process by helping them to better understand students.
A large scale quantitative survey which sought to explore current perceptions and future aspirations was completed by 3529 students. The survey was followed by a series of focus groups which unpicked issues in more depth and tested some of the Union’s emerging ideas.
The quantitative data was used to segment students beyond the usual demographics based on their attitudes, lifestyle and aspirations – resulting in an audience segmentation map. These segments will enable the Union to target different groups of students at the institution more effectively through their offer and communications.
In line with a broader trend around the country, we found that Sheffield Hallam students are extremely serious about their course, their future career path and their employability. Big concerns for the future amongst the student population link to current political/social trends which are permeating our media including finances, the cost of living and employment.
The research showed that for Sheffield students the ideal Union is an exciting, busy, engaging, lively and social place. As such, students were particularly interested in opportunities to socialise, join societies, and attend events and entertainment. At the same time, they are keen to see the Students’ Union also focus on development opportunities and advice and support.
Our findings have been written up in a report which includes a series of recommendations to enable the Students’ Union to develop their strategic visioning based on a robust evidence base.