Do diverse degree courses matter for university attractiveness?

TitleDo diverse degree courses matter for university attractiveness?
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2023
AuthorsBiagi, B, Ciucci, L, Detotto, C, Pulina, M

The present paper focuses on an unexplored line of research in Higher Education Institutions’ (HEIs) studies: the role of programmatic diversity on university attractiveness. Specifcally, it highlights the role of diversifcation and divergence of the degree courses as a lever to attract more freshers. Diversifcation measures the range of the ofered degree courses, while divergence indicates how the mix difers from the national standard. The work addresses the following three research questions: (1) are diversifcation and divergence benefcial to universities in attracting more freshers? Do these efects change with (2) the internal characteristics and (3) the external characteristics of universities? To this aim, the paper explores a panel data set of 75 Italian universities between 2012–2019. Overall, the fndings indicate that programmatic diversity is benefcial but with specifc diferences according to size, research quality and the location of the HEIs. Furthermore, the proximity to other competitors plays an important role.

KeywordsDivergence, diversification, freshers, Higher Education Institutions