Student enquiry case study

How do we convert more enquiries?

A specialized private tertiary education institution with campuses in the major metropolitan areas in South Africa.
They were experiencing a low rate of conversion from student enquiries. They wanted to develop a strategy to improve conversion rates and thus continue their growth as an education provider of choice.

A key issue to drive this growth was to understand what pulls students towards the institution and what pushed them away towards competitors. Once that was understood, strategies could be developed to improve conversion rates.

APPROACH: We used a mixed methods approach to address the challenge.


Conducted to obtain the competitive landscape (institutions offering the same or similar courses in each main metro area). We mapped out the options facing students and spent a great deal of effort internally to design research instruments which covered all areas and flowed properly.


Using lists of recent enquiries and new enrolments to send invites to participate in an online survey. From the nearly 340 responses we were able to generate 4 broad paths to study that the students took, and unpacked what drove them to the decisions they made.


We asked participants to opt-in for further research and recruited 14 people from a variety of paths to participate in free-flowing individual in-depth discussions to fully understand the circumstances surrounding decisions. 


  • Determined 4 broad enrolment paths and the distribution of enquiries into these different paths.
  • The competitor set and how it varied by region and course.
  • Key drivers which pulled students to enrol and barriers that pushed them away from that institution.
  • A price sensitivity analysis to assess the probable impact of price increases, discounts and financing options.
  • The qualitative interviews allowed us to fully explore the circumstances and background to the decisions which gave a deep understanding that the decisions were complex and not necessarily made solely by the prospective student.

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