Is this the end of the printed university prospectus? asks @UniofGlos - End of printed prospectuses comes as #ClimateChange tops concerns of young people

The University of Gloucestershire, the UK’s number 1 sustainable university (People and Planet League, 2019), has announced it is ending the production of printed prospectuses in favour of digital-only versions.

This move away from a traditional printed prospectus, believed to be one of the first in the UK, is part of the university’s new Who Cares? We Do campaign which taps into what today’s students care about. 

University prospectuses traditionally showcase what each institution can offer students, from courses and departments to accommodation and student life. Research by the University of Gloucestershire suggests more than 2.5 million prospectuses are printed by UK universities each year – a figure based on at least one prospectus per student*.It is predicted that this number could be even higher

However, it is widely accepted that only a handful of pages are read and many end up in the bin as prospective students search for the specific information they want online instead.

The university has worked with current undergraduate students to develop an interactive digital prospectus and a suite of Instagram stories which replace the traditional prospectus used by universities across the UK.  As well as providing all the information students need about courses and academic requirements, the new digital kit tackles the issues that matter most to prospective university applicants and what represents value for them: from fitting in and getting the right support, to getting their career kick-started and also tackling one of the wider issues that today’s students care about: climate change.

The University of Gloucestershire will officially unveil its digital-only prospectus as part of the Who Cares? We Do campaign at the UCAS Higher Education Fair today (Monday 9 March) in Bristol. Instead of picking up a bulky printed prospectus, visitors to the University of Gloucestershire’s stand will be given a paper wristband filled with wildflower seeds and printed with a QR code allowing them to scan and access the digital prospectus at, as well as a nametag to its Instagram page to watch the stories. And to discourage the use of single use plastic, the university will also be giving away edible cordial pods made from seaweed which dissolve instantly to create a packaging-free drink.

Stephen Marston, Vice-Chancellor at the University of Gloucestershire, said:

“The University is proud to be ranked first for sustainability in the UK. Doing away with the traditional hard copy prospectus is a further step we can take in applying the principles of sustainability across everything we do. At the same time, we have taken the opportunity to rethink not just the communication medium but the content, to ensure we are giving students information about the things that matter to them.  Information about course content and academic management remains key. But so does information about some of the more personal aspects of being at university. Questions like ‘will I fit in?’, ‘what support is available?’ ‘is it worth it?’ and ‘where will my degree take me?’ are also real issues that students care about when making important decisions for their future.  At the University of Gloucestershire, we aim to be an academic community that values human relationships and the wider wellbeing of our students and community. Our Who Cares initiative reflects that goal.”

Gemma Mainwaring, University of Gloucestershire Student’s Union Welfare Officer, said:

“A digital university prospectus makes sense. As a community, we’re all so much more aware of reducing waste, so retiring the printed prospectus is definitely a move in the right direction.  Students want their concerns on issues like sustainability heard and I think the University is responding to these concerns well. As a whole, the University works closely with the community to ensure its students make a home for themselves here and fit into the environment around them. With edible gardens and hedgehog friendly campuses all around us, it seems no action is too big or too small. It’s important we continue to take a stand and lead the way in creating a greener and brighter future for everyone.”

Ceasing the production of printed prospectuses follows the university’s accolade as People and Planet’s Number One University for Sustainability in 2019, which saw it beat 154 other Higher Education institutions for its environmental and ethical performance. 

The university has consistently been ranked in the top 10 of the league since 2007. The University divested from fossil fuels in 2018 and has reduced its carbon emissions by 46% since 2005.

*Based on 2017-18 stats which show almost 2.5 million students started university.

You may also be interested in these articles:

Sponsored Video

Register, Login or Login with your Social Media account:


Upcoming FE Events

Advertiser Skyscrapers

Newsroom Activity

Latest Education News

Further Education News

The FE News Channel gives you the latest education news and updates on emerging education strategies and the #FutureofEducation and the #FutureofWork.

Providing trustworthy and positive Further Education news and views since 2003, we are a digital news channel with a mixture of written word articles, podcasts and videos. Our specialisation is providing you with a mixture of the latest education news, our stance is always positive, sector building and sharing different perspectives and views from thought leaders, to provide you with a think tank of new ideas and solutions to bring the education sector together and come up with new innovative solutions and ideas.

FE News publish exclusive peer to peer thought leadership articles from our feature writers, as well as user generated content across our network of over 3000 Newsrooms, offering multiple sources of the latest education news across the Education and Employability sectors.

FE News also broadcast live events, podcasts with leading experts and thought leaders, webinars, video interviews and Further Education news bulletins so you receive the latest developments in Skills News and across the Apprenticeship, Further Education and Employability sectors.

Every week FE News has over 200 articles and new pieces of content per week. We are a news channel providing the latest Further Education News, giving insight from multiple sources on the latest education policy developments, latest strategies, through to our thought leaders who provide blue sky thinking strategy, best practice and innovation to help look into the future developments for education and the future of work.

In May 2020, FE News had over 120,000 unique visitors according to Google Analytics and over 200 new pieces of news content every week, from thought leadership articles, to the latest education news via written word, podcasts, video to press releases from across the sector.

We thought it would be helpful to explain how we tier our latest education news content and how you can get involved and understand how you can read the latest daily Further Education news and how we structure our FE Week of content:

Main Features

Our main features are exclusive and are thought leadership articles and blue sky thinking with experts writing peer to peer news articles about the future of education and the future of work. The focus is solution led thought leadership, sharing best practice, innovation and emerging strategy. These are often articles about the future of education and the future of work, they often then create future education news articles. We limit our main features to a maximum of 20 per week, as they are often about new concepts and new thought processes. Our main features are also exclusive articles responding to the latest education news, maybe an insight from an expert into a policy announcement or response to an education think tank report or a white paper.

FE Voices

FE Voices was originally set up as a section on FE News to give a voice back to the sector. As we now have over 3,000 newsrooms and contributors, FE Voices are usually thought leadership articles, they don’t necessarily have to be exclusive, but usually are, they are slightly shorter than Main Features. FE Voices can include more mixed media with the Further Education News articles, such as embedded podcasts and videos. Our sector response articles asking for different comments and opinions to education policy announcements or responding to a report of white paper are usually held in the FE Voices section. If we have a live podcast in an evening or a radio show such as SkillsWorldLive radio show, the next morning we place the FE podcast recording in the FE Voices section.

Sector News

In sector news we have a blend of content from Press Releases, education resources, reports, education research, white papers from a range of contributors. We have a lot of positive education news articles from colleges, awarding organisations and Apprenticeship Training Providers, press releases from DfE to Think Tanks giving the overview of a report, through to helpful resources to help you with delivering education strategies to your learners and students.


We have a range of education podcasts on FE News, from hour long full production FE podcasts such as SkillsWorldLive in conjunction with the Federation of Awarding Bodies, to weekly podcasts from experts and thought leaders, providing advice and guidance to leaders. FE News also record podcasts at conferences and events, giving you one on one podcasts with education and skills experts on the latest strategies and developments.

We have over 150 education podcasts on FE News, ranging from EdTech podcasts with experts discussing Education 4.0 and how technology is complimenting and transforming education, to podcasts with experts discussing education research, the future of work, how to develop skills systems for jobs of the future to interviews with the Apprenticeship and Skills Minister.

We record our own exclusive FE News podcasts, work in conjunction with sector partners such as FAB to create weekly podcasts and daily education podcasts, through to working with sector leaders creating exclusive education news podcasts.

Education Video Interviews

FE News have over 700 FE Video interviews and have been recording education video interviews with experts for over 12 years. These are usually vox pop video interviews with experts across education and work, discussing blue sky thinking ideas and views about the future of education and work.


FE News has a free events calendar to check out the latest conferences, webinars and events to keep up to date with the latest education news and strategies.

FE Newsrooms

The FE Newsroom is home to your content if you are a FE News contributor. It also help the audience develop relationship with either you as an individual or your organisation as they can click through and ‘box set’ consume all of your previous thought leadership articles, latest education news press releases, videos and education podcasts.

Do you want to contribute, share your ideas or vision or share a press release?

If you want to write a thought leadership article, share your ideas and vision for the future of education or the future of work, write a press release sharing the latest education news or contribute to a podcast, first of all you need to set up a FE Newsroom login (which is free): once the team have approved your newsroom (all content, newsrooms are all approved by a member of the FE News team- no robots are used in this process!), you can then start adding content (again all articles, videos and podcasts are all approved by the FE News editorial team before they go live on FE News). As all newsrooms and content are approved by the FE News team, there will be a slight delay on the team being able to review and approve content.

 RSS IconRSS Feed Selection Page