The education sector has changed significantly over the last couple of decades. Changes in funding models have resulted in a more consumer-led market and student expectations are increasing.
Prospective students are now more likely to find information about courses via their mobile devices than in a printed prospectus; so education and skills providers are looking to digital technologies to help publicise and market their courses.
What you can do
Understand your market
Business intelligence is about evidence-based decision making and the processes that gather, present, and use that evidence base. It can help when providing evidence to support potential students’ decisions on whether or not to apply for a course. Our business intelligence guide can help you get started.
Brush up on your communication skills
It’s important that you’re able to communicate with prospective students in an engaging way using tools and techniques that are relevant to them.
- Our resource on mobile learning includes tips on communication across mobile devices
- Our relationship management guide includes hints on how to approach communication and networking
- You may be interested in our article on why educators can’t live without social media
- Read our advice on using popular websites to reach broader audiences
- Our guide on influencing others relates specifically to project and change management activity but has a useful section on communicating to influence
Tap into the network of online course information
Our information model known as XCRI-CAP (eXchanging Course Related Information Course Advertising Profile) can help you publish online prospectus information in a standard format, making it easier for agencies such as UCAS, the National Learning Directory or 14-19 Prospectus websites to collect and share.
Prospects, a national organisation offering career advice and job and course opportunities, is implementing XCRI-CAP for postgraduate courses. We have worked with Prospects on the XCRI-CAP PG(T) course implementation manual.
As part of our scaling up online learning project we are exploring the potential viability and usefulness of developing a directory of UK online courses.
Invest in activity to engage with prospective students
Consider using open education resources to attract potential students. Our open educational resources guide can help get you started.
Our guide on enhancing the student digital experience includes recommendations on how you can open up a meaningful dialogue with students to identify key messages.
Sharing and aggregating course information across the UK provides huge potential for prospective students to explore and compare courses. Progress has already been made in this area, especially in the adoption of XCRI-CAP by some institutions. Our guide looks at the issues, benefits and experiences of managing course information.
You may be interested in a self-assessment exercise (Excel) to determine your state of readiness for implementing a standardised approach to course marketing information.
We are working on business intelligence initiatives with the Higher Education Statistics Agency (HESA) and sector colleagues (including the Higher Education Strategic Planners Association (HESPA)). Visit the project web page for more details.