If you are a college or university, it’s time to re-strategize and future-proof your enrolment goals and marketing plans with the latest student recruitment trends in higher education.
To execute your plans seamlessly and achieve success, having a better understanding of the current trends in higher education is quintessential for you to make informed decisions.
Understanding the top trends in higher education
It is the right time to investigate the current technology & trends in higher education. In the past few years, colleges and universities have been facing a below-par student recruitment situation, declining state support, the growing popularity of digital classrooms, and the ubiquitous social media.
The future is already here; it’s just not evenly distributed – said William Gibson.
Here are the top 5 higher education trends that you shouldn’t miss out on if you haven’t come across them already.
1. Shift the focus to ‘student experience’
For a long time, educational institutions have been focusing on building infrastructure, comprehensive courses, curriculum, and placements. While these factors continue to play a significant role, there is another factor that has emerged as crucial – ‘great student experience.’
As the student recruitment demographic pattern is becoming more diverse, colleges and universities should continue to focus on high-quality student experience from the prospective student stage and engage and serve them well both academically and administratively for them to achieve success.
2. Increase in international and non-traditional students
Over a decade or so, there is a substantial increase in the number of students who are above 25 years of age and are parents or student veterans. The trend is expected to grow twofold in the foreseeable future. So, you might have to redefine your strategy to accommodate non-traditional students.
Student recruitment strategies, therefore, have to focus on learning methods, financial options, and service needs according to their preferences.
3. Changing marketing trends in higher education
The approach, medium, and content of your marketing communications should be suitable for different student groups. Because of the increase in international students and non-traditional students brochures, pamphlets, blogs, and all forms of communication should be hyper-customised based on each student persona as per their unique needs and preferences.
Social media has swiftly emerged as one of the best platforms to connect with diverse interest groups and with prospective students in a personalised way. Too much communication should be replaced by targeted communication to clearly understand and well-defined student persona groups of each institution.
4. Changing preferences in the modes of learning
Students expect a more interactive experience along with conventional methods of teaching. Student recruitment strategies must now include new messaging like flexible timing, mobile service desks, online communities, digital classrooms, online study materials and course details, because student expectations have changed indeed.
As discussed earlier, the increase in non-traditional students also contributes to these varied preferences and needs. Understanding what prospective students are looking for and addressing their needs will help you in attracting them to your university.
5. The future of higher education
The value of a college education itself has become questionable because of the gap between the opportunities promised and reality. The future trends in higher education are going to be quite challenging.
Lack of job opportunities, even after successfully earning a professional degree, has made students rethink the benefits of higher education. While this perception is spreading, colleges and universities are striving to demonstrate value by investing their efforts in understanding student expectations, needs, corporate partnerships and preferences to provide a positive student experience.
In short, colleges and universities must provide greater flexibility in student recruitment, strive to treat and engage a student much like a customer, be very responsive to student needs, customise communication and actions for each student persona, rethink the learning process, and embrace mobile technologies to cater to the increasing diversity and geographical spread of the student population.
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Engage2Serve Inc. is the creator of transformational cloud-based, mobile-first Student Lifecycle CRM products for student recruitment, student success and retention, and alumni engagement.