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04 May The New Digital Age: How can Higher Education institutions effectively attract and engage the Online Student?

 

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It has never been as important as it is today to have an online presence, as universities multiply and competition tightens.

In such a dynamic and competitive market, the way you present your University’s brand online is key to building your institution’s reputation, and to attract and engage effectively with your target audience.

QS, as a leading global marketing consulting provider for Higher Education, helps to identify the strengths and weaknesses of your institution, and provides strategies and tools to improve its position in the market vis-à-vis other Universities and Business Schools around the world. Our mission is to maximise the institution’s unique offering in order to make it stand out from the crowd.

The Higher Education industry is evolving at a fast-pace, as its main consumers, often referred to as the Millennials and Generation Z, are generally described as technology-savvy, online shoppers, mobile, paper-less and social media aficionados.

These new generations of students expect to have information about undergraduate and postgraduate courses, university’s benefits and extra-activities at their fingertip, in order to help them make a brand choice or a buying decision.

Once the decision has been made for a particular University or Business School, the digital student prioritizes an online hassle-free application process, that can be completed at their own pace and time; the ability to communicate effectively with the University’s Admissions and Support departments through a variety of digital communication channels (email, social media, chat boxes, skype, forums, …); and a wide range of online payment options.

In order to adapt and capture the interest of these ever-evolving generations, Universities and Business Schools worldwide need to invest time and budget in meeting the new requirements of the digital marketplace, not only by offering detailed information online about their facilities and course offerings, but also by providing digital application processes, through online portals and interactive forms, and communication channels – to build rapport and support students during the application and admission journey.

By restructuring the perspective from paper to digital forms and introducing new online channels into the University’s communication mix, Marketing, Recruitment and Admissions departments will more effectively engage the digital student and increase conversion rate of initial enquiries and applications to enrolled students.

MoveIN, QS’s leading software for Student Recruitment and Admissions Management, offers an all-in-one solution for Higher Education institutions aiming to digitize their student recruitment and application efforts and processes. The SaaS platform allows Higher Education institutions to build customized online portals, application processes and forms, according to the University’s key features and regional needs of target market.

In addition, the software solution provides a personalized digital platform for communication with applicants, that keeps record of all online interactions and communication formats since the early stages of the recruitment journey up until admission, enrolment and payment.

Whereas the student’s interface caters for the recruitment and application stages, the software’s back-end grants admissions staff the ability to keep track of number of applications, student demographics, conversion rates and manage all operational challenges of student applications through one single dashboard, including data processing, reporting and communication.

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