Our Insights

How can North American higher education institutions maximise their Virtual Open House strategy?

Post by
Geri McGann - Principal Client Advisor, Europe

The coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic has affected all our lives throughout 2020 and looks set to continue into 2021. Many industries have been forced to make fundamental strategic changes including accelerating or pivoting their digital strategies to cope.

The higher education sector was no different in this respect, from consideration of current student experiences to the recruitment of new students, the restrictions that COVID has put in place has meant that digital channels now form some of the primary means for Universities to engage with students. One such event is the university open house.

While online events and in some instances, virtual open houses, are not new to many universities, University of Bath (UK) for example have been hosting online open house events for the last 5 years, visiting the campus was still a key part of the University experience for prospective students and a key event in the recruitment calendar. The move to a Virtual Open House has challenged many universities who might not be as digitally mature as their counterparts.

In Q3 and Q4 of 2020 Global Reviews conducted a Virtual Open House benchmark which measured over 200 individual experience criteria across 26 universities in three countries: Australia, UK and Ireland.

These experience criteria were subsequently weighted by over 500 prospective students (both domestic and international) in an online interview.

This research helps universities understand:

  • Their performance in virtual open house digital service maturity in comparison to competitors
  • Where they should focus future digital feature innovation for virtual open house
  • What digital propositions achieve the greatest impact in driving engagement and ultimately student acquisition

In our webinar Global Reviews revealed the expectations and priorities for prospective students when attending virtual open houses and highlighted the digital maturity of leading Australian, UK and Irish universities. We answered key questions such as:

  • What expectations do prospective students have when attending a Virtual Open House?
  • What experiences do Undergraduates, Postgraduates and international students deem most important when participating in a university Virtual Open Houses?
  • Which brands are digitally more mature when it comes to the types of experiences they are offering?
Why are Deakin University significantly outperforming the competition with both domestic and international prospects?
Why are RMIT providing the most successful live session experience?

This webinar highlighted:

  • How universities can gain advantage by prioritising more intelligently and promoting features that matter to prospective students
  • The attitudes and behaviours of prospective Undergraduates, Postgraduates, and international and international students towards Virtual Open Houses
  • Best practice examples of those university brands that are delivering the right experience and significantly outperforming the.competition

Some of brands we will be sharing results on include:

  • AUS: Deakin University, University of Melbourne, Monash University and RMIT
  • UK: Coventry University, University of Bath, and University of Northampton
  • IRE: University of Limerick and Trinity College Dublin

While we all wait in anticipation for the day when our lives can return to some semblance of normality, Virtual Open Houses are here to stay in some shape. Missed our webinar? Get access to the recording by clicking the link above. This recording will help to find out how you can maximise your Virtual Open House strategy and to understand how you can get involved in our research for North American university Virtual Open Houses.

Register for Webinar