Dynamic student recruitment trends fueled by a global pandemic have forced student recruitment organizations and institute representatives to rethink their recruitment and student engagement strategies, a complete technology-powered overhaul of the process seems to be the new way forward to engage with prospective students around the globe.
“We are witnessing a new wave of technology implementation and it’s adoption in the student recruitment space, for instance an unprecedented number of millennials and gen z students today, from around the world are connecting with university admission’s teams and representatives through online video and chat integrated platforms. This sharp rise in students attending online admission’s fairs and events is here to stay, prospective students can now with ease access first-hand information from the source which tackles the problem of information asymmetry that existed in certain geographies by democratizing access to accurate and quality information, which helps students make a well-educated and informed decision ” said Mehrab Grewal an edtech entrepreneur in this space.
“Recruitment and admission’s teams globally seem to be working towards adopting a technology first approach, there is an increasing reliance on tech enabled student recruitment platforms powered by advanced artificial intelligence and machine learning capabilities. AI powered course and college recommendation engines that are being built into platforms can significantly transform the application journey for a student, it does not only reduce time spent on identifying the most suitable programs but also brings increased transparency in the decision making process. Educators are also now increasingly leveraging analytics tools backed by data to help students better predict and understand course outcomes, smart data allows institutes to reinvent programs and teaching methodology to match the demands of the dynamic global job markets, enabling their graduates to become a part of the future workforce easily, such advanced processes and tools now are becoming a core part of student recruitment and retention,” added Mehrab Grewal.
Technology powered portals and tools allow college recruitment teams to seamlessly plan and manage their international outreach programs, also giving them an opportunity to increase their discoverability and to better showcase their institute’s offerings. “social media campaigns and digital content creation is leading the way in student engagement, online and digital campaigns create a fun and engaging recruitment funnel. Insights and analytics from online outreach campaigns, help’s analyze patterns and crucial metrics, allowing admission’s teams to make reliable recruitment predictions. Digital tools also increase the ability of an institute to reach more students around the world, allowing them to interact with any student with internet connectivity which could also boost on campus diversity” said Mehrab Grewal.
Steady internet connectivity and reduced internet usage tariffs have also bolstered access to under-penetrated markets and geographies. “Webinars, online video enabled networking sessions for students and teaching faculty, panel debates and online roundtable discussions are also some exciting new ways that institutes are engaging with their global student communities. Such open discussion forums and initiatives help institute representatives better understand problems that students from different backgrounds and geographic locations face while applying to institutes overseas, this may allow them to create a hassle free on-boarding process for prospective students globally” as per Mehrab.
Further colleges and universities are also experimenting with and adding new cutting edge technologies like augmented and virtual reality in their arsenal to be future ready. “These revolutionary technologies and capabilities will greatly enhance all future recruitment initiatives and drives, helping institutes create richer and more immersive engaging experiences for millennial and gen z students”
Given the current situation, with the ongoing global pandemic a majority of institutes today are leaning towards an online first teaching format which could eventually be followed by a hybrid personalized learning environment. “Blended teaching formats are on a rise, this allows students to learn from the comfort of their homes while staying protected from the ongoing pandemic and join in-person classes once the situation stabilizes,” added Mehrab Grewal.
“There in an increasing need now, more than ever, to create a more transparent and sustainable recruitment framework, a tech fueled system overhaul will create more opportunities for both students and institutes in the future. Recruitment initiatives and efforts must also keenly observe the carbon footprint of international student mobility. They must plan and devise strategies for a more ethical and sustainable, towards a carbon-neutral future for international student recruitment,” said Mehrab Grewal.