The importance of creating a central hub for your institution’s communication strategy

The University of Gloucestershire has found that the creation of a personalised student-centric app has delivered benefits throughout the student journey

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Ready Education
28 Apr 2022
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From induction to graduation: Creating a tailored communication plan for your students
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When marketing to students, the importance of personalisation should not be underestimated. It has been shown to have a significant impact on retention, perception and student success.

At a session held in partnership with Ready Education at Times Higher Education’s HashtagHigherEd UK event, Anthony Philips, head of sales for the UK at Ready Education, and Hayley Billington, student communications officer at the University of Gloucestershire, provided key insights on how to communicate with students at each point in their university journey.

“My colleagues do a really great job of keeping in touch with students via digital communications, live Q&A sessions, as well as in-person events like our offer holder days, where prospective students get to spend time on campus,” Billington explained. “The main call to action involving our digital communications, however, is asking students to download the MyGlos app.”

Ideally, students at the University of Gloucestershire spend a significant portion of time getting acquainted with the MyGlos app prior to enrolment, Billington said. MyGlos is a personalised mobile app that tells students everything they need to know about university life, from lecture timetables to assessment submission.

“We no longer print a physical copy of our prospectus,” Billington said. “Everything can be found on the MyGlos app. This has helped us win awards for our sustainability credentials. At Ucas fairs, we now simply give out a wristband made of seed paper that contains a QR code taking students to the app.”

“According to the University of Gloucestershire surveys, 79.5 per cent of students said that the induction information on MyGlos was helpful in reducing anxiety,” Philips said. “With more and more attention being paid to student well-being, this is important for recruitment, retention and engagement.”

As well as reducing anxiety, boosting well-being is also about ensuring students are satisfied with their course and institution. “We conduct a lot of surveys, sourcing student feedback to ensure that the app provides everything our students need,” Billington said. “We also work with Ready Education to find what works, what doesn’t, and the kinds of innovations that we may want to introduce at a later date.”

In addition to MyGlos, the University of Gloucestershire has its own intranet to share information with students. However, the university wants the app to be the central place for students to find what they need.

The importance of this central communications hub has only increased in light of the Covid-19 pandemic. “Suddenly, it became vital that we were communicating online because that was the only way of reaching students,” Billington said. “It made everyone realise how important online student communications is. We’ve tried to keep this importance front of mind as things gradually return to normality.”

Find out more about Ready Education.

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