Journal Article

The use of a Facebook group to enhance student recruitment and the student experience: A cohort study


Universities routinely use Facebook as a marketing tool, but little is known about its impact on recruitment or the student experience. The current study evaluated the development of a subject-specific Facebook group for students at Oxford Brookes University (OBU). It was expected that creating a sense of connectedness among potential students and with the university through a Facebook group would help them to decide to accept their offer of a place to study and have a positive impact on their experience of OBU. A cohort of 116 first year students, who had been offered a place to study a health and social care subject, were invited to become members of the Facebook group. Sixty-three students became members. Subsequently, students who joined the University in September completed a survey to assess their perceptions of belonging or not belonging to the Facebook group. In support of the hypothesis, there was a significant association between Facebook group membership and accepting an offer to study at OBU: 59% of those in the Facebook group accepted their offer whereas only 32% of those who were not in the Facebook group accepted their offer. Analysis of open-ended responses revealed that students were positive about their experience of belonging to the group, but the majority of OBU students said that it did not influence their decision to study at OBU because they had already decided to accept their place prior to joining the group. Implications for student recruitment and the student experience are considered.

Attached files


Bunce, Louise

Oxford Brookes departments

Faculty of Health and Life Sciences\Department of Sport, Health Sciences and Social Work


Year of publication: 2018
Date of RADAR deposit: 2018-08-20

Related resources

This RADAR resource is the Accepted Manuscript of The use of a Facebook group to enhance student recruitment and the student experience: A cohort study


  • Owner: Joseph Ripp
  • Collection: Outputs
  • Version: 1 (show all)
  • Status: Live
  • Views (since Sept 2022): 49