A vibrant postgraduate researcher population lies at the heart of any research-intensive university. And with the continuing growth of our doctoral college, and our outstanding performance in the PRES, coming 7th in the land, we are well-placed to grow.
So, I hope you have now heard that we have an ambitious plan to double our postgraduate research (PGR) student numbers over the next 5 years. As part of this, we wish to be more effective in recruiting, and attract the most talented students from all over. We need your help with this. Your profile and visibility matter a lot. In a report published by UK HE International in 2016, the academic reputation of an individual supervisor was cited by 92% of international PGR students as an important decision-making factor.
Each week, I receive 3 or 4 requests to undertake a PhD under my supervision via my previous university, where I have a research group website, and that is how they mostly found me, although some come through a Faculty PhD recruiting portal. None come to me at Surrey – because I am, as yet, invisible from that perspective – but we plan to change that for all prospective supervisors at Surrey.
Up-to-date profiles ensure that prospective students are able to see a comprehensive set of information which could ultimately swing their decision on which institute to approach. Take a look at this sample Academic staff profile and Postgraduate research student staff profile to see just how much information it is possible to include. There are also several academics who have an up-to-date profile. Please see below for some examples:
How visible are you? To help all be visible to prospective students, we plan to create a PGR portal – a point of entry to the University of Surrey world. We need your help in making sure that you are as visible as possible. We plan to add a tab to our existing academic profile pages, so that you can add information for students, such as links to your personal website (if you have one) and examples of projects you might have available and projects successfully completed. It will be your personal PGR recruiting page! But we need you to fill in those tabs!
We have several ways to help you to do this. Firstly, we offer 30-minute training sessions every Wednesday afternoon. Please click here to book your session. Secondly, if you’re happy to go ahead and create or update your profile, we have made sure that there are clear notes to help you. These can be found here.
Your help is both essential and very much appreciated.