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Teesside University rapped by advertising watchdog over 'misleading' claims

November 15, 2017 12:01 AM
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Teesside University rapped by advertising watchdog over 'misleading' claims

It said it was 'top university in England for long-term graduate prospects' :: But it said it respected feedback and altered adverts

Teesside University has been rapped by an advertising watchdog over ‘misleading’ claims on its graduate prospects.

The Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) told the university, based in Middlesbrough, to remove claims from its website and other marketing material which said it was the “top university in England for long-term graduate prospects”.

It also said the university must hold relevant data to back up its adverts in future.

Teesside University was one of six in the UK to receive a telling off by the ASA.

The Committee of Advertising Practice (CAP) will also be issuing guidance to them all later this week to “help universities stick to the rules”.

Teesside University said it believed the message to potential students was accurate, but made changes to its advertisements as soon as the ASA flagged up the issue.

A spokesman for the university said: “We strongly believe that the marketing message was accurate but we respect the decision of the ASA and welcome CAP’s first, and necessary, guidance for the sector.

“As soon as we were made aware of the ASA’s enquiry, we removed the message from all marketing communications.”

Falmouth, East Anglia, Leicester, Strathclyde and West London universities were the others left red-faced by the ASA ruling about their rankings, student satisfaction and graduate prospects.

The universities said they based their claims on independent assessments provided by compilers of national and international league tables, including the Centre for World University Rankings, the Times Higher Education World University rankings, the Best Global University Rankings and the QS World University Rankings.

ASA chief executive Guy Parker said: “Our rulings send a clear message to UK universities. If you’re making claims about your national or global ranking, student satisfaction or graduate prospects, make sure you practice what you teach: play by the advertising rules, in particular by backing up your claims with good evidence.

“Going to university involves a big financial commitment and misleading would-be students is not only unfair, it can also lead them to make choices that aren’t right for them.”


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