Top marketing and admissions tips from the EAIE Academy

Top marketing and admissions tips from the EAIE Academy

Today we’re wrapping up yet another successful EAIE Academy. The event was marked by the launch of four new courses focusing on some of the most discussed topics in higher education: cultural learning in education abroad, digital marketing, strategic academic partnerships and admissions processes. The highly practical knowledge that was imparted to participants is based on a wealth of experience and data from the trainers. Read on to discover some of the valuable tips for digital marketing and admissions processes which were given to participants over the last few days.

Google and Facebook’s data on student buying cycle

As promised in the previous Academy blog post, we’re providing an update on the new marketing course ‘Innovative techniques in digital marketing’ revealing the information that Google and Facebook shared with us regarding the student buying cycle. Trainer Anthony Lee, who acquired the data from the two corporations, reports: “The data shows crucial facts that universities should take into account when developing their marketing and recruitment strategies. The Google research revealed that 25% of prospective students never look for sources beyond the web when researching a place of study. They have also calculated that, on average, the first visit to the site is made 120 days or more before an enquiry or application is lodged. If universities had doubts in terms of Facebook advertising, Facebook have reported an eight-fold increase in engagement with the latest advert positions within the newsfeed feature. In addition to that, an EMC Academic Alliance case study reported a two-fold increase in enquiries as a result of Facebook advertising.” All this has great implications for the way universities engage in online marketing, specifically with regard to paid-for advertising and social media.

Participants are extremely happy with the innovative ideas they received during the courses and are now prepared to take greater initiative at their institutions and implement all they’ve learnt: “It’s nice to learn from people with so much expertise who are so passionate about what they do. I’ve got a lot of hands-on advice for my work, so when I get back to my university, I know exactly what to start with. I really want to stand up and take ownership for the digital marketing in my department. Until now we’ve had no real strategy, everybody was doing bits of everything. But now when I get back, I’m going to write a plan and make sure all I learnt here will happen.” Loes Vaessen, Admissions & Recruitment Officer at Faculty of Medical Sciences, Radboud University Nijmegen, the Netherlands.

The importance of optimising admission processes

We also gained some insights on optimising admission processes from trainers Duncan Hamshere, Gloucestershire College, Chris Lyons,  UK NARIC and Agnes Leyrer, ETS Global: “Our participants are very concerned about their admissions processes. It’s quite clear that with the increasing number of international applications they receive, they find it more and more difficult to assess these applications. So it is important for them to know what sources and tools are out there and how to use them so that they can evaluate the applicants’ abilities as effectively as possible. With this in mind, we are discussing the importance of admissions processes, why it is important to put energy in a thorough procedure, how to select applicants and how to evaluate if one applicant is better than the other. We cover three main fields of selection criteria: credential evaluation, aptitude tests and English language skills.

Duncan’s expertise is in credential evaluation and identifying fraudulent documents. He advised participants that if they are not sure if a picture on a certificate is genuine, they should turn it upside down and compare it to a real picture of their students; in this way they can spot the little differences. Participants were warned to always look out for fake certificates, which are more common than one would think. “Chris and I have been explaining how to measure English language skills, what CEFR levels are, what holistic scoring means, what the differences are between TOEFL, IELTS, Cambridge tests, TOEIC and Aptitude tests like the GRE General Test. The validity of the test scores should always be verified with the respective testing organisation. The highlight of the course was when participants had to evaluate genuine TOEFL speaking responses. The session gave an insight into the scoring guidelines and participants had to implement the newly learned information immediately. I have to say they were all quite strict examiners!”

The spring EAIE Academy is almost over. If you’re interested in attending the next Academy, taking place in Tallinn in November, check the website for updates.

We would like to thank our sponsor, ETS GRE, which has kindly sponsored all the four EAIE Academies that have taken place until now, as well as our host institution, University of Birmingham.