How to Improve Your Institution’s Academic Reputation

Academic reputation is essential for institutions of higher education.

According to the American Freshman: National Norms Fall 2013, an accomplished academic reputation is the most important factor that constitutes towards a student’s decision on their next study destination.

We have put together our top tips for improving your institution’s academic reputation:

1. Invest in research 

Research is crucial if a university or business school want to improve their reputation. You can work out what prospectives perceive as your strengths and weaknesses. Based on these insights, you will be able to refine your brand message in an attempt to differentiate yourself from your competitors. To be a reputable institution in every field and have no flaws is impossible, so channel your unique qualities and niche areas through extensive research and utilization of key data.

2. Listen to the students 

It is important to get student opinion to improve reputation. Surveys are a great option. You want to ask plentiful questions that offer a wealth of useful data. It would help to have respondents rate other institutions they are considering on the same attributes for a meta-analysis.

The repeat functionality of surveys represent an easy and efficient way to gather student opinion and facilitate the improvement of your institution’s reputatation.

Credit: Here is an example of survey questions that could be used in these circumstances. 

3. Have an adaptable brand strategy

Prioritise student experience and academic offerings. You want to fulfill a higher educational ‘brand promise’ if you like. Don’t fall behind. Keep your curricula updated to reflect the changing marketplace and dynamics in higher education.

It is worth considering the growing impact of globalization. Not only has this brought about new academic subjects but institutions must accommodate for nontraditional students and an older student population. In order to strengthen brand positioning and reputation, your business school or university must attempt to successfully manage these changes.

4. Engagement 

Your brand strategy should also include improving your engagement levels. In higher education, creating a sense of belonging is vital for students. Do not neglect the necessity that is developing relationships with staff and administrators – not just with their peers.

This study from Stanford University backs this up, going as far as suggesting ”satisfaction with the undergraduate experience is the single most essential pre-condition. Those who are not satisfied are, without exception, nondonors”. Students willing to donate would hold that specific institution in high accord.

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It may also be of interest to you, as to how you can use our dataset to positively impact your reputation.

Access our comprehensive analysis of your institution’s academic performance based on responses from the QS Academic Survey.


It’s simple. Students go through higher education as a platform to improve on particular skills and, essentially, boost their employer reputation. They need the assurance that the study destination they pick can ready them for this. Your academic reputation will be a determining factor in their decision making.

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