We know the world is currently rife with cliches, but we mean it when we say this; where has the time gone?! It’s (already) week 12 of the Covid Tracker and what students have taught us this week is that brand matters.
It’s not the time to hover your foot above the pedal. Both prospective and existing students are still in turmoil about what their future looks like, and they need you to fight for their attention and loyalty. Here’s the full story:
Comparing answers from week one, 7% of students said they were unsure whether they were planning to change their university. This has doubled over the last 12 weeks to 14%. Nurturing interested students has never been more important. And don’t stop there, students are also twice as likely to consider changing their course than they were at the start of lockdown.
Our recommendation? Get ready for Clearing, which is when we predict students will act on these ideas (and switch university, if you’re not careful). And invest in your advertising and bidding to make sure you’re ahead of the game.
And to those who don’t think a change of scenery or curriculum is enough? Six in 10 students who are planning to defer a year are planning to look for paid employment instead. But can you keep nurturing those students through their year out? With continued support and access to your institution’s resources and career hubs, to ensure that once they’re back in the game, they’ll come straight back through your doors?
So how can you make sure students are only swapping out faculties, or pressing a temporary pause button? With brand and reputation. Students are twice as likely to think that a face-to-face university would offer better quality teaching than an online specialist institution. But one in four students are considering a specialist online university. So your brand and reputation matters. And here’s when you need to lean in to your strengths.
If you’re an online provider, how can you address and debunk the misconceptions surrounding online learning and showcase your plus points during a time when your infrastructure should be leading the pack? And if you’re in the ‘face-to-face’ camp, how can you keep building on your existing reputation with awareness tactics to ensure you’re cutting through the noise?
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