Five rules of student engagement for effective university marketing

Can marketing help in tackling falling university applications?

(Originally posted on, Thursday 29 November 2012)

By John Newbold

Secret Cinema

Establish a link between interests and careers

The end goal of most prospective university students is not attending lectures for a few years; but eventually to embark on a career and, more specifically, a career they are passionate about. Recent social media coverage has emphasised the point that career success and happiness comes from pursuing what interests you, rather than what might seem a good idea from other people’s perspective (teachers / parents / politicians). One video currently doing the rounds on Facebook simply asks the question: “What if money was no object?”

When marketing to potential students, universities should draw this link between student passions and potential careers. Higher education institution Birmingham Metropolitan College’s latest campaign achieves this well, with the strapline “Let what you love become what you do”. Similarly, Staffordshire University has this week launched a new graduate campaign spanning TV, cinema, press, radio and digital advertising. The idea is to show students that Staffordshire University is committed to their success beyond graduation.

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“The Passing of the Crown”


The Financial Times has published the 2012 edition of its European Business School rankings. Spanish-based IE Business School overtakes HEC of France to become the number one business school in Europe, according to the respected financial newspaper.

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King of Morocco to build first African hub of higher education


Higher education has gone from strength to strength in Morocco in the last 5 years, notably due to the opening of campuses of foreign schools and universities, as well as the county’s own private universities. The competition is getting fierce; no less than a dozen projects are under consideration to host foreign Universities and Schools (Russian, Italian, French, American, Spanish) to open campuses in Morocco. These projects have been announced by Mr. Daoudi, Minister of Higher Education, Scientific Research and Executive Education. His Serene Majesty King Mohammed VI has also given his personal support to the projects. Morocco aims to adopt the means to train its youth on their own soil, where they will be able to participate in the innovation and development of the country. Africa has an extremely large pool of young people to train. The aim of this project is simply the economic development and positioning of Morocco as an educational hub in Africa and eventually the world. For the moment the scope is their own young population, but the objective for the future is to attract ambitious and adventurous foreign students from Europe and beyond.

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Why #Hashtags are the key to effective PR tweeting

Those of you who use Twitter no doubt have seen and probably used a hashtag.

Hashtags are the letters that follow the # sign in a tweet and are, according to Twitter, “used to mark keywords or topics in a tweet.” Twitter users—not the inventors of the social network—created the hashtag. But hashtags aren’t appropriate for every tweet. It’s important to know when to use one, and how to treat a hashtag.  Continue reading

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The Economist “Which MBA?” Ranking 2012

DESPITE its reputation as a finance powerhouse, and a churner-out of super-quants, the return of Chicago’s Booth School of Business to the top of The Economist’s full-time MBA rankings is proof that it is a well-rounded school. Continue reading

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Increasing giving through powerful alumni networks

Tuck School of Business, Dartmouth regularly beats every other institution in the world when it comes to annual alumni giving

As more and more European schools enter the fundraising game, they look to their American counterparts to understand the rules. Developing a devoted alumni network is part and parcel of ensuring a steady flow of gifts and most schools are ramping up efforts to connect with their alumni who reside throughout the world.

Alumni clubs, regular class reunions, responsive career centers, and alumni publications all factor into the success of creating an excellent alumni network. But is there truly a magic equation for making sure that the majority of alumni are tapped into the network and are giving back? Continue reading

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QS designates Paris as Best Student City in the World

A new ranking released today by QS – a global provider of specialist higher education and careers information and solutions known for its university rankings – has designated Paris as the world’s best student city in 2012.

A veritable beehive of student activity (the ranking considers that there are 16 universities and elite grandes écoles of merit in greater Paris), the French capital came in ahead of 49 other world cities that qualified for the ranking. Continue reading

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