Gresham College aims to provide lectures that offer some new insight or depth to the subjects covered while still remaining accessible for interested members of the public. Because of this, we try to know our audience as well as possible. We are also keen to receive any feedback might help our provision of lectures in the future.
Who is our audience today?
We carried out a short survey in January-March 2017 reaching over 2,000 people to check on who currently watches our lectures and what they think of them. We know that our online audience - our Youtube lectures reach around 3 million a year - is around 40% US-based and tends to be younger. The audience we reached in our survey was largely based in the UK. They tend to be older, quite educated, with only around 15% without degrees. 11% have a learning difference or impairment. Most are or were professional or managerial in background (although the number in manual/ unskilled work has increased since the last survey in 2012); 40% are atheist; and most are white (though ethnic diversity has increased since the time of the last survey).
98.2% of our audience rated our lectures good, (6.5%) very good (39.3%) or excellent (52.4%).
Some 73,6% of our lecture-goers in person go to between 1 and 5 lectures a year; online they tend to watch a lot more, with just under 50% watching between 1 and 5 lectures. Most Gresham lecture-goers would recommend College lectures to a friend (97.5%) . We added a late question to the 2017 survey about how we have changed our audiences' lives. For many it has had positive effects on their learning, they have found this enriching, and helped them to think more widely and deeply, to use critical and problem-solving skills, and some have been inspired, for example to run literary events. For some the lectures help them become curious, inspiring ‘an acute sense of wonder’. Others get perspective by studying something outside normal work; and many say the accessibility of higher learning is the real draw. Many are unable to access events of this quality where they live (for example outside big cities or in other countries like the USA). Teachers also use the lectures in their classes and take inspiration from them. For others it has been good at keeping their brain active, widening their knowledge and enlarged their social circle (especially good for older people and others of all ages at risk of isolation). For some the lectures have specifically helped them understand something, for example quantum mechanics; first year University calculus, the law, and an unbiased lecture on Brexit.
We also carried out a brand awareness survey in early 2017, and found 5% of UK adults online have heard of us (out of 2103 adults), and 10% in London (out of 273) and in the East (out of 151).
The College is keen to continue providing lectures of an excellent academic standard whilst also appealing to a wide range of people from varied backgrounds. If you have any comments or suggestions on how we might continue to do this, please let us know by e-mailing: firstname.lastname@example.org.