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Watchdog Clamps Down on Misleading University Claims

Posted by Richard Ward in ,

Image courtesy of Flickr, Creative Commons

Universities are going to face greater scrutiny in how they advertise to students.

It's expected that universities will be told not to mislead or exaggerate in the language they use when advertising to students, with claims such as being within the top 1% of institutions being examined.

The University of Reading has already had to take down its claim to be in the top 1% of the world's universities, because it could not be substantiated.

The Advertising Standards Authority is expected to name six more universities this week that have breached the advertising code, along with tougher guidelines on what is acceptable language to use when marketing to students.

The advertising watchdog has already said the University of Bedfordshire faced a complaint about claims it had "gold standard" teaching, when the institution held a silver award in the new teaching excellence framework ratings.

Meanwhile, Liverpool John Moores University was asked to be more specific about its claim to be the "university of the year". In reality, the university won the title in this year's "Educate North Awards".

With increasing competition in the sector, universities have been upping their marketing efforts. However, the advertising watchdog has been considering whether university claims can be justified and without adequate substantiation can rule them to be misleading.