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Making Sure Your University Comes Top Of The Class

UNIVERSITIES, like businesses in every sector, have to compete for their share of the market. But the key difference is in the number of areas in which they must compete.

It’s not enough that they offer the best or most varied curriculum. They must also increasingly show that they offer the best experience and the most fun in beautiful, vibrant locations.

They must offer the most varied and inclusive out-of-hours clubs and activities, not to mention the highest standards of pastoral care for young people, many of whom are from different countries and cultures.

It is a very big brief to fill, so a good reputation is crucial. This is hard to win and hard to maintain but vital if the university is to rise above the competition.

How to improve your university’s reputation and ranking

When it comes to university rankings, developing an international reputation for excellence in all areas is essential.

This relies on two main factors: engagement and collaboration. You need to find ways of reaching out to other educators across the globe and then build relationships with them. You can do this in a number of ways.

Before you start, you must ensure you have all your marketing materials, such as your prospectus, brochure printing, and branding in place. It must be clear in all your printed material who you are, what you offer, and who you are offering it to. Only then can you start getting your institution in front of your peers and your target market.

Your aim now is to create as many industry connections as possible and that means attending international conferences and taking part in debates and forums within the education sector. It’s crucial that you utilise every possible opportunity to share your strengths, hand out your marketing material, and engage with your sector.

Another good way to improve awareness of your university is to hire international staff. This shows you are outward looking and keen to source the finest minds, regardless of location. It also broadens your international reach.

How to improve student experience

Students don’t simply need to be taught, they need to be inspired, supported, and motivated – and among the best people to do this are your former students: your alumni.

Set up online forums where former and current students can engage with each other. By sharing their experiences of student life and beyond, alumni can help current students see where their studies could lead them. This sense of a future can provide security and alleviate fears of debt or unemployment, making for a happier student body.

Creating a hard-copy student handbook can also double as a guide to university life – essential for anyone who may be living away from home for the very first time. A perfect bound brochure is the ideal choice, because it will survive a lot of wear and tear.

Let students know they are listened to by asking for feedback (and actually applying it) and offering them training opportunities that link to the workplace – that way they are not only improving their academic qualifications, but they are gaining practical experience too.

Communication is key. Encourage them to tell you what they want and need. Don’t just listen – hear them.

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