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International students prefer smartphones in searching information on global universities

By   /  January 18, 2017  /  Comments Off on International students prefer smartphones in searching information on global universities

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London: For international students finding correct information on global universities is definitely a challenging task. The medium of searching information on universities is another critical factor. This trend gives an extensive outlook to university marketers in optimising their outreach efforts, and to provide insights into the way in which consumer behaviour in the higher education sector might provide direction. On this backdrop, QS Digital Solutions, department of QS Quacquarelli Symonds, have today released the “How Do Millennials Research Universities?” report.

The most important aspects of the report is that the smartphone is rapidly increasing as their favourite tool for them in gathering and collating information on universities across the globe. Students are increasingly researching universities on mobile devices. In 2013, 48% of surveyed students sought relevant content on smartphones. By 2016, this figure jumped  to 62%, mirroring global trends.

Official university websites are the primary sources of information for students when seeking a study destination as 71% of respondents perceive them as the most essential, relevant information source available to them.

The QS Digital Solutions report mentioned that students are still often unable to find desired information on this platform, however as 56% report difficulties finding information about scholarships and funding.

The importance of university rankings  is still a key element in influencing  .The findings also reiterate Meanwhile fewer than 1% of respondents eschewed rankings altogether, with more than  95% of respondents view them as ‘essential’ or ‘very important’.

Another major form that is gaining significant traction is the importance of video content. The proportion of respondents using YouTube as a research tool rose from 24% in 2013 to 29% in 2016.

Amelia Hopkins, one of QS’s report authors, said: ““Though digital channels present myriad opportunities by which universities might look to attract students, they are presented with increasingly savvy consumers that are deterred by identifiably commercial content. Personalized marketing, in the form of letters or phone calls, remains unparalleled.”

 Universities no more can afford to neglect social media platforms and websites as aspiring students still use chat websites, forums like The Student Room, and other social media websites like Twitter to ‘get ideas’ about their university choices.

Despite these changes, universities still need to remain cautious when selecting how to actually conduct outreach. 80% of respondents would prefer to be contacted by email, while 67% would select email when initiating contact themselves. Approximately 10% would choose to make contact via Twitter, but only 2% would wish to be contacted through the platform by a potential institution of study.

The report findings are based on the results of student surveys conducted between 2013 and 2016, and include.

Though universities should be present on a range of platforms, they should understand the ways in which students use each of these platforms. While video content on social media may help raise their profile, they should seek to email or call potential applicants.

Students are expected to use university websites as their first point of call, and are increasingly using smartphones. Universities are expected to make their websites mobile-optimised and place crucial information in relevant positions.

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