Factors Affecting University Choice Behaviour in the UK Higher Education

Dean Heathcote, Simon Savage, Amin Hosseinian Far*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to JournalArticle


Although regulations and established practices in academia have focused on a data rich model of performance information, both to evidence operational capability and to support recruitment; it is widely considered that this approach has been largely ineffective in addressing student choice behaviour. Historical studies, business, psychology, and technology theories have pointed to the oversimplification that a data led strategy can result in for mapping human behaviour. In this case, decision processes of students are understood to be nuanced by a vast range of factors with variable relevance for each individual. The effort of the study is to address how Systems Thinking and related policy development and associated enabling techniques can be applied to the field in an effort to provide both a deeper understanding of the dictates of student behaviour and by extension the appropriate foci for data provision enabling comparative business performance assessment of Higher Education Providers. This research has followed the Design Science Research Process (DSRP) methodology; the developed model has been successfully evaluated and trimmed against the understanding of education practitioners as part of an interview consultation process of the methodology. The analysis of interview feedback and the development and refinement of the proposed model generates the principle findings of the study. The model outlines the factors which might affect students’ choice of the UK Higher Education.
Original languageEnglish
JournalEducation Sciences
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 3 Aug 2020


  • Higher Education Policy
  • Performance Data
  • Design Science Research
  • Systems Thinking

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