Unleashing the Secret Sauce: How Universities Can Win the Hearts of Applicants in a Fiercely Competitive Landscape

In the world of higher education, universities face the exciting challenge of captivating prospective students and successfully converting them into enrolled students. With students becoming more discerning in their choice of study destinations, the higher education sector has grown increasingly competitive. The team at Acumen have put together a collection of friendly and effective strategies that universities can employ to make a lasting impression on student applicants and create an unforgettable journey.

Break Down the Stages: Let’s Plan for Success!

To achieve a successful student application strategy, it’s important to break down the process into manageable stages. From targeted social media campaigns to personalised emails and face-to-face meetings, taking a step-by-step approach allows you to measure your progress effectively. Each engagement activity should have clear goals and metrics in place to track success. By continuously evaluating efforts, you can fine-tune your strategies and create content that resonates with students at each stage.

Let’s Learn from the Best: Students

Current students hold valuable insights that can guide your efforts. Through regular student surveys, you can gain valuable feedback on their satisfaction levels. The surveys provide you with a deeper understanding of what students appreciate about your learning resources, organisation, management, and academic support. By using this feedback, you can improve facilities, enhance online resources, and refine career services. Making these positive changes not only benefits current students but also serves as a testament to your commitment to excellence when attracting prospective students.

Communication is Key: Start a Conversation

While social media and email are effective communication tools, you should focus efforts on fostering meaningful dialogue. One way to do this is by incorporating live chat platforms into conversion activities. With live chat, applicants can connect with your community of current students, caring academic staff, and supportive teams. It’s an opportunity for them to explore their unique experiences and ask direct questions that matter to them. Whether it’s advice on accommodation, financial matters, or earning while learning, you can provide instant responses and ensure a smooth transition into university life.

The Value of  Influencers: Parents and Friends

The decision to attend university is often influenced by friends and family. That’s why we recommend extending your support to the important role parents play in the decision-making process. A great way to do this is by engaging with parents through targeted social media campaigns, informative live chat events focusing on supporting their child’s university application, and dedicated website sections. An often forgotten influencer is school career guidance officers. They play a vital part in providing feedback, application advice, and getting students excited about their options. Partnering with high schools, secondary, and sixth form schools are a great way to engage students at an early stage and provide guidance counsellors with the support they need to answer questions. 

In this fiercely competitive landscape, the key to success lies in differentiating your university and capturing the hearts of applicants. Acumen is here to guide you through the process, offering innovative solutions tailored to your institution’s unique needs. Let’s collaborate and unleash the full potential of your recruitment strategies.