Universities are under greater pressure than ever to increase the diversity of their student populations by recruiting people from a variety of non-traditional backgrounds including those from ethnic minorities, schools in disadvantaged areas, students with disabilities and older students.
What you can do
Digital technologies can help encourage non-traditional students to apply to your institution.
Building the bridge to HE
Being aware of student expectation in the digital environment can help ensure your course is attractive and relevant to prospective students. Our digital student project and enhancing the student digital experience guide contain useful information to help learning providers develop digital learning environments which meet expectations.
In addition, our e-portfolios guide includes information on how technology can help in widening participation.
Enabling through technology
When marketing courses, it’s important to consider accessibility and inclusion, and to inform prospective students about the support available to them. Our enhancing staff support for learners with disabilities guide provides guidance for marketing staff.
Create a supportive learning environment
This is essential for attracting and retaining students. Virtual Learning Environments (VLEs) can be adapted to make them accessible to all learners including those with disabilities. Mobile technology could also help students with disabilities or those juggling study with family or work commitments.
Social media plays an increasingly important part in the learner journey, both for teaching and learning, and ongoing engagement. Our article explores why educators can’t live without it.
How are you doing so far?
Our accessibility self evaluation tool will help you assess how accessible and inclusive your institution is to students whatever their background or needs. We also have advice on accessibility for senior managers in colleges and universities.
Meeting student expectations around digital learning will help attract students from a diverse range of backgrounds. Our student recruitment guide shows how the use of digital technologies can contribute to successful student recruitment, and encourage learners who assumed higher education was not for them, to reconsider.