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It’s long been a struggle for Universities to connect effectively with potential post grad students. Open days are expensive, time consuming to host and frequently suffer low attendance. So it’s vital that Universities start to look at alternative ways to engage prospective post grads with their faculties and particular professors.

Research-led education is central to most universities’ strategies and so maintaining a thriving and vibrant research culture for those undertaking postgraduate and postdoctoral study is essential. But engaging with potential postgraduate students in order to sell them on the benefits of your university can often feel like a thankless task.

Open days are expensive and time consuming to host not to mention often ill-attended. We also know that connecting with your international pool of potential applicants has never been more important – between now and 2024, 44% of the UK’s inbound postgraduate growth will come from China. So how can universities adapt to using alternative techniques to engage with this essential group of would-be students?

The solution – Live engagement and live chat. It’s something that many of our university clients have already started utilising daily yet we still find that many universities still don’t know the value of live chat and live engagement. That’s why we have created this handy list of the best ways universities can utilise live engagement and live chat technology.

 

1. Capture Data

Participants can register in advance’ allowing the recruiting teams to capture relevant data

2. Full Control

All chats are fully moderated, which means that only when you answer a question in the chat will it go live to the rest of the group, providing reassurance that you have full control of the published content.

3. Host Virtual Open Days

The themes of the chats can cover a multitude of topics and might include virtual open days where you essentially hold your traditional open day but online. Other topics could be more specific and involve key faculty members. In fact, being able to chat to a specific professor or academic might be a real selling point.

4. Share Your Media

The platform allows you to share content such as videos in order for you to bring the university to life.

5. Engage Internationally

Live chat can also be a great way of engaging with your international audience as you can schedule the chats at a time that suits them. We also know that many international students feel self-conscious talking over the phone so live chat can be a great way for them to communicate with you in a way they feel comfortable with. It breaks down some of the initial language barriers that might exist and helps to foster a better level of engagement.

6. Save Money

An annual licence for most platforms allows you to host as many online live chats as you like throughout the year and doesn’t involve the traditionally costly expense of open day collateral and material. But there’s a resource cost saving too; sparing an hour or two over the course of a week instead of a whole day for an open event is hugely beneficial to your already overstretched teams.

7. Benefit Your Post Graduate Students

Post grads can access the chats from the comfort of their home or office, avoiding the need to take time out to travel to events. It also allows them to find out more about universities they might not have otherwise considered. Plus, if you can provide them access to an eminent academic figure, then it makes their engagement with you all the more appealing.

 

To conclude, live chat and live engagement is a useful, if not vital, part of your future recruitment strategy allowing you to enhance the way that you engage with your future postgraduate talent. If you’d like to find out more about how Meet & Engage can help you, feel free to get in touch with me at sarah.brown@meetandengage.com

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