LIVERPOOL University will send staff back to school in a bid to drum up trade amid a drop in applications.
The red brick institution will train willing graduates who now work at the university so they can hit classrooms across the UK.
Vice-Chancellor Professor Sir Howard Newby sent a memo to all staff saying the “Back To School” campaign would help raise the university’s profile and “increase applications from target schools and colleges across the UK”.
The decision to despatch staff back to either their old schools or others on a hitlist came as the university – like the city’s other two institutions – was hit with an annual drop in applications, blamed on issues like the rush to beat the 2012 fee rises last year to tougher entry standards.
Admissions are down 9% on forecasts but Sir Howard reassured staff that the university – which is investing £600m into campuses and teaching facilities between now and 2016 – is in a “a robust financial position” and able to meet the challenges ahead.
He urged staff who form part of its alumni to come forward for the campaign, which is being managed by its student recruitment and admissions office.
Sir Howard said: “The university is launching a Back To School campaign to help raise our profile and increase applications from target schools and colleges across the UK.
“We are now looking to increase engagement with a wider reach of schools, including those of which you are alumni.”
Staff interested in “volunteering to go into a target school, or their former school, to deliver a presentation or workshop” are told the university will meet travel expenses “relating to this activity”.
Volunteers will be trained to talk about topics including “all aspects of higher education and incorporate the university’s key messages”.
Sir Howard added: “I do hope you feel you are able to assist with this important and engaging initiative.”
The drive came days after it was revealed how Liverpool Hope University will join the city’s other two universities in charging students the maximum tuition fees of £9,000 a year from 2013.