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What's in a Name? The Effect of Brand on the Level of English Universities' Fees


  • Andrew Jenkins

    () (Department of Social Science, University College London)

  • Alison Wolf

    (School of Management, King's College London)


Higher education is increasingly competitive and international in its recruitment of both students and faculty, and international 'league tables' are increasingly publicised and discussed. In many jurisdictions, universities also now have freedom to set fees for at least some students, and those with a high reputation are well placed to charge large amounts. England has a university sector which is highly differentiated in reputational terms, and a fee regime which allows universities to set fees for a large proportion of their students. It is therefore possible, using administrative and income data, to examine how far commonly recognised measures of reputation explain universities' teaching income per student, after controlling for a wide range of other factors. The results confirm that reputation, or 'brand', appears to have a very large impact on fee and teaching income, and that it is therefore entirely rational for English universities to prioritise activities which raise their international visibility and reputation.

Suggested Citation

  • Andrew Jenkins & Alison Wolf, "undated". "What's in a Name? The Effect of Brand on the Level of English Universities' Fees," DoQSS Working Papers 16-12, Department of Quantitative Social Science - UCL Institute of Education, University College London.
  • Handle: RePEc:qss:dqsswp:1612

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    Fees; Teaching income; Brand; University reputation; University revenue;

    JEL classification:

    • I22 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - Educational Finance; Financial Aid
    • I23 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - Higher Education; Research Institutions

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