Survey: Student recruitment the main driver for institutional web strategy


Results of the Higher education digital marketing & web survey 2017 revealed recruitment as the top priority of digital strategy goals.

89 percent of the survey respondents agreed that student recruitment is the fundamental objective prompting their institution’s web strategy, an increase from 80 percent in 2016. Student recruitment precedes other goals such as promotion of research and hiring of researchers, student retention activities and alumni engagement and fundraising activities.

In 2017, form inquiries such as information request or to visit a campus, have been reported to be the most significant indicator for the determination of the effectiveness of an online strategy (36.8 percent) followed by website visits (30.4 percent). Social media engagement fall short of being the main method of measurement for online success in contrast to 2016. This measure dropped from 10 percent in 2016 to 5.6 percent in 2017.

The results reflect higher education (HE) web strategists focus on tapping into their websites to encourage explicit actions from students and are likely to place emphasis on calls-to-action in their strategies.

In addition, while the use of Facebook remains relatively constant despite a slight decrease in 2017; there have been a drastic shift in the use of social media, particularly for Instagram and Twitter. Respondents are increasing recognising the need to be more engaged with their target audience via Instagram as opposed to Twitter.

Although student recruitment has been identified as the most important goal for institutional websites, more than 42 percent of respondents were unsure about the number of vacant seats at their institution, down only slightly from 46 percent in 2016.

Majority of the respondents have also pointed out the lack of alignment between institutional recruitment targets and website strategies even though they believe that the main objective should be the enhancement of recruitment intent. Additionally, 40 percent of the respondents were unclear if their institution’s recruitment targets are in line with their online leads; illustrating a need for an improved integrated strategy.

Source: ICEF Monitor

Join us in the upcoming QS-APPLE 2018 from 21-23 November 2018 in  Seoul, South Korea, as we discuss the topic on “Future Universities in the Asia-Pacific: The Changing Face of Higher Education”.