Admissions, Enrollment & Pre-College Preparation: A Foundation Year Program In The Arabian Gulf
Schultes, Alexander E. O.
Knowing more about student enrollment at preparatory programs is particularly significant to the field of international admissions and recruitment. Struggling to meet aggressive admissions targets, and the inability to attract students who fit an institutional profile, is an existential threat to an institution’s core business. Unlike previous studies, which examine students enrolled in traditional degree programs, this study focuses on international student enrollment at a foundation year program, in an emerging Arab Gulf country, using a qualitative approach. Two research questions are investigated: What drives enrollment decisions at university academic preparation programs? After accounting for student variables of any type, what institutional factors most influence the enrollment of new students? This study found the emergence of three interconnected identities for students, staff and programs. Identity can assist decision makers by providing a form of analysis to focus on critical factors impacting student enrollment. After identifying the linkages of enrollment decisions to factors that influence staff development and retention, this study makes eight recommendations to foster a community that will more effectively support new students.