Loughborough University to help shape the future of higher education sport

Loughborough University has kicked off 2016 by embarking on a Sport England funded project looking at how sports participation can be increased.

Working with Loughborough Students’ Union and academics within the School Sport Exercise & Health Sciences (SSEHS) and the School of Business and Economics (SBE), the project will utilise behaviour change techniques and campaigns that can be tested at Loughborough and applied across higher education sport.

The innovative data insight project will capture student’s sport participation via a range of techniques, primarily through the use of student swipe cards, and aims to capture all sport and physical activity across the entire student body.

The data generated will be used alongside other non-sport data to develop greater insights into individual student activities. This in depth insight will allow us to market and promote opportunities at an individual level, with a view to helping us achieve our ambitious participation target of having 75% of all of our students playing sport three times a weeks.

The data generated will also allow more insightful decision making and strategic planning.


This is an important project for a University that wants to be world leading in all aspects off HE sport. The insights it will provide us will enable us to better target and tailor our sporting offer to ensure it meets the needs and aspirations of every individual student.

Tim Garfield, Director of Sports Development


Being able to understand, communicate with and motivate our students is at the heart of everything we do.

This project will help us build on our fascinating, experimental work segmenting our students based on their needs, attitudes and aspirations. Our collaboration with the Loughborough University Sports Development Centre on this project provides a unique and meaningful laboratory for work that has potential application far beyond both Loughborough and sport.

Andy Parsons, Director of Loughborough Students’ Union

Loughborough is one of the country’s leading universities, with an international reputation for research that matters, excellence in teaching, strong links with industry, and unrivalled achievement in sport and its underpinning academic disciplines. 

It has been awarded five stars in the independent QS Stars university rating scheme, named the best university in the world for sports-related subjects in the 2018 QS World University Rankings, top in the country for its student experience in the 2018 THE Student Experience Survey and named University of the Year in the Whatuni Student Choice Awards 2018. 

Loughborough is in the top 10 of every national league table, being ranked 6th in the Guardian University League Table 2018, 7th in the Times and Sunday Times Good University Guide 2018 and 7th in The UK Complete University Guide 2019. It was also named Sports University of the Year by The Times and Sunday Times Good University Guide 2017. 

The University has been awarded a Gold rating in the Teaching Excellence Framework, which recognises institutions that deliver consistently outstanding teaching that is of the highest quality found in the UK. 

The Loughborough University London campus is based on the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park and offers postgraduate and executive-level education, as well as research and enterprise opportunities. It is home to influential thought leaders, pioneering researchers and creative innovators who provide students with the highest quality of teaching and the very latest in modern thinking. 

The seven specialist institutes at Loughborough University London include: Design Innovation, Digital Technologies, Diplomacy and International Governance, Innovation and Entrepreneurship, International Management, Media and Creative Industries, and Sport Business. Close industry partnerships with a wealth of leading businesses and creative organisations means teaching and learning is informed by real-life challenges and driven by true industry pressures.