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We are a trends consultancy specialising in Higher Education marketing, bringing you the very best of what’s out there through presentations, workshops, strategy and our own creative innovations.

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From the Blog

Can Love Island & Netflix Inspire Higher Education Marketing?

Can Love Island & Netflix Inspire Higher Education Marketing?

Posted on Dec 20, 2018

Welcome to this guest post from Sarah Owen. Sarah is a Brand & Marketing Consultant with significant experience working for the the BBC, Channel 4 and on a number of youth broadcast initiatives. Sarah also helped us out on our most recent hacks. Here’s some of her insights into broadcast marketing and the synergy with […]

Hacking Higher Education Part 1

Hacking Higher Education Part 1

Posted on Dec 5, 2018

Inspiration. Insight. Creative hacks. Popcorn. Our Digital Hack in Manchester had it all. We showcased the latest marketing trends from voice and AI to instant, experiential and VR/AR. We hit everyone with 45 creative bites from the likes of depop, Monash University, Lockheed Martin and La Trobe University. Then we sat back for a moment, […]



Posted on Oct 22, 2018

We’re well and truly into a new university year in the UK so we thought we’d share a handful of sparks to inspire the rest of the year ahead. At our recent Future Index summit we explored some of the very best global HE marketing initiatives of 2017/18 and here’s just five of the best… […]

A Magnificent 7 HE Digital Marketing Sparks from CASE Europe 2017

A Magnificent 7 HE Digital Marketing Sparks from CASE Europe 2017

Posted on Sep 30, 2017

At the recent CASE Europe Conference in Birmingham, I gave a quick tour of some of the most inspiring Higher Education digital marketing out there right now. We covered everything from student recruitment to fundraising; from snapchat spectacles to quidditch broomsticks. We even had an academic taking over a university Instagram account for a whole […]



Posted on Apr 26, 2017

On 14 March the Future Index visited the UCAS Convention at Manchester Central where potential university applicants converged to explore just what was on offer. Our mission this year was to find out if creativity was alive an well in the UK Higher Education marketing and student recruitment world. Here’s just a taste of what […]



Posted on Feb 23, 2017

So we’re well and truly into 2017. But what’s exciting us at the Future Index? What do we think the very best Higher Education marketing teams should be looking at? Here’s 5 things to get you thinking. ONE: VIRTUAL REALITY No surprise to see this here. The recent shift of VR into the mainstream (PS4’s […]

AI & HE: The Rise Of The Robots

AI & HE: The Rise Of The Robots

Posted on Oct 26, 2016

Since Mark Zuckerberg gave the rallying endorsement of Facebook Messenger chatbots in April this year, we’ve seen an acceleration in just how this technology will impact on the communications landscape. If Facebook, and its 1.7 billion footprint, are serious about something, we can’t ignore it. And at the same time, we’re contending with the voices […]

The World’s Largest Classroom. Part One: The University

The World’s Largest Classroom. Part One: The University

Posted on Sep 27, 2016

Just to be clear, I’m not sure if or how this qualifies as the world’s largest classroom. But it surely has a claim. It’s definitely big. Huge in fact. And it’s most certainly well worth a look. So here’s the story. Background The University of Manchester is committed to an interdisciplinary pursuit of sustainability solutions. […]

7 Tech Trends & How Universities Can Wire Into Them

7 Tech Trends & How Universities Can Wire Into Them

Posted on Sep 26, 2016

ONE: CHATBOTS 2016 has seen the rise of the chatbots. Chatbots are another step into the AI world and enable brands (and universities) to strike up an automated chat with you. Back in April, Facebook announced that these bots could now be built to live within its Messenger app. And Facebook Messenger has over 900 […]

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Here's what some of our clients have said

Christina Barrett (Digital Development Manager)

“The Open University Business School has worked with Future Index since 2013 on various projects. They have produced a number of thematic summary and trend reports based on various business topics. The reports have always been excellent and the research they carry out is in-depth and thorough. They understand the needs of our customers (mostly alumni) and produce reports that are creative while the content is interesting and thought-provoking. I would highly recommend them.

- Christina Barrett (Digital Development Manager)
Suzy Giles (Head of Global Comms & Branding)

I have worked with Jim across both Higher Education and Global Schools Education, and his ideas, input and creativity never fail to produce results. While you are being inspired by what’s out there, and brainstorming creative campaign ideas – he cleverly develops your strategic thinking and a new way forward. Looking forward to the next time we can collaborate.


- Suzy Giles (Head of Global Comms & Branding)
Rachel Sandison (Executive Director of External Relations)

Future Index play a vital role in informing the University of Glasgow’s thinking on new initiatives and best practice within the HE and other sectors and therefore provide an excellent platform for encouraging discussion and critical challenge of current practices. The team always leave a session of Jim’s enthused, re-energised and full of exciting new ideas.

- Rachel Sandison (Executive Director of External Relations)
Angelina Bingley (Director Admissions, Recruitment & Marketing)

We really value Future Index’s creative & inspirational expertise, providing masterclasses, keynotes & targeted workshops to solve very real problems.  Their trends reports give us in-sector & out-of-sector ideas to spark our own light-bulb moments – #ASKUEA is one such example. They also helped on our UEA2030 Vision last year helping drive our strategic approach. They are the first people I think to call when I need brilliance or just practical guidance!


- Angelina Bingley (Director Admissions, Recruitment & Marketing)
Emma Leech (Director Marketing & Advancement)

Future Index has been a really useful resource for engaging the team, for sparking new ideas and for stimulating debate – and for more than a few actual new projects! Our reports and workshops are a great way to stay up to date and at the top of your game.  We’ve particularly found the tailoring useful as we can focus on specific landscapes or sectors – research, for example – in an easy to use and digestible way.


- Emma Leech (Director Marketing & Advancement)
Ann Fernandez (Director Marketing & Communications)

I wanted to inspire the team, get people thinking beyond the present –  and FutureIndex was the right choice. Jim listened and devised a great day tailored to BU, producing creative ideas, several of which are now part of our marketing plans.  Feedback on the day was fantastic – everyone was inspired and engaged by the content and style. I would highly recommend Future Index to anyone wanting to inspire creative thinking in teams.


- Ann Fernandez (Director Marketing & Communications)