Chelsea Samantha

The importance of promoting year-round


At a glance, it may seem intuitive for universities to focus their promotions around application deadlines. After all, those are the periods when students must make their decisions about which university they will apply to. But ­­the student journey, as it turns out, is a lengthy process that extends beyond just a couple of months. Studyportals data has shown that the average time between the moment students start searching for universities on our site and the moment that they enrol is approximately 15 months.

The table below shows a frequency distribution of the number of days between the moment students start searching for universities and the day of their enrolment.

This makes sense when we consider how life-transforming this decision can be. Most of the students pouring over educational choices on our site have just stepped out of high school and are leaving home for the first time. Faced by a whole world of options, excitement is not an uncommon emotion felt by them, but so is a sense of feeling overwhelmed.

Determining where to spend the next three to four years and which badge of honour a student will wear for the rest their life is no small feat. Aside from practical matters, it’s a decision that is loaded with big questions – “what do I really want to do in life?”, “Which careers are most aligned with my values and aspirations?”, “What are the trade-offs between the choices I have?”.

When a student plans to study abroad, there are even more factors that must be contemplated: “Which country do I want to live in?”, “Will I be able to fit or adapt to a certain culture?”, “Should I prioritise the city over the ranking of the school?”. Every stage of this journey requires students to answer plenty of questions and reach many small decisions. It’s no wonder most students take a long time before finally settling into a decision.

When universities promote nearing application deadlines, they are showing up only at the tail-end of this decision-making process. During these times, students are likely to have shortlisted their options to a small number of universities that they feel certain about and it is less likely that they will consider an entirely new option. Consistently allocating campaigns and promotions throughout the build-up of these peaks ensures top-of-mind awareness amongst students when they begin selecting their university options.

“Our collaboration with Studyportals has helped us reach prospective students from all over the world. Promoting our programmes continuously for several years really provided us with consistent results and made it a reliable component in our recruitment strategy.” – Nico Hoffman, Hertie School



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