The Higher Education Academy & NUS : Behavioural Approaches to Understanding Student Choice icon

The Higher Education Academy & NUS : Behavioural Approaches to Understanding Student Choice

We conducted a systematic review of evidence from the emerging field of behavioural economics. Our report was one of the first to apply these insights to the area of student choice and decision-making in Higher Education. The aim was to better understand how the ‘framing’ of key choices and the irrationality of human behaviour affects judgements and decision-making when deciding what to study and where. For example, the decision where to study is shaped as much by subjective impressions of a university campus as it is by objective calculations of costs and benefits of the course on offer. The report showed how understanding the limits of information-processing and the quirks of human behaviour can be beneficial not only for policy-makers and HE providers, but also decision-makers themselves.

Dr Abigail Diamond image

Key project contact

Dr Abigail Diamond

Abigail joined CFE in 2008 and has been managing director since 2012. With over 11 years’ experience in social research that spans both consultancy and academia, she has led a number of large, complex evaluations into labour market outcomes; further and higher education; and workforce development. A key focus of her recent work has been the application of behavioural economics to understanding student choice and she produced a UK review of the provision of information about higher education. She also has a keen interest in the role of technology in education; leadership and cultural change. Abigail is also a visiting fellow at Nottingham Business School at Nottingham Trent University.