How to accelerate diverse student recruitment in your institution

Diversifying student recruitment is top of mind for many Higher Education (HE) institutions across the globe.

Indeed, even prestigious universities, such as The University of Oxford, dedicate schemes to boost the onboarding of under-represented individuals.

Areas of diversification include:

  • Those from minorities
  • Candidates from a wider geographical field
  • Those from state education backgrounds
  • First-in-the-family students
  • Students from disadvantaged socio-economic backgrounds

By diversifying your student body, you'll create a more representative and inclusive environment. What's more, you'll help to change the narrative of many under-represented groups or minorities.

The question is: how can you accelerate this diverse student recruitment authentically?

Invest in student recruitment outreach programs

In 2019, popular British musician, Stormzy, pledged to fund two black UK students to the University of Cambridge each year. Since the scholarship began, the number of black students participating in outreach activities and attending the university has risen.

This is a unique example of an outreach effort, funded solely by one individual. But it has gathered tangible success.

If your institution would like to replicate something similar, we'd suggest researching widening participation networks and charities that can bolster your efforts.

As an example, the organization Sutton Trust partners with leading US and UK universities, foundations, partners, and not-for-profits to help accelerate social mobility in education. Harnessing the help of a network such as this will widen your reach and better inform your efforts.

Harness your student ambassadors

Of course, you needn't always resort to third party networks and charities.

Eighty-seven percent of students become ambassadors to help prospective students make the best decision about their future. So why not make the most of them?

By matching your diverse set of student ambassadors with prospects, you can reach under-represented communities in an authentic, flexible, and informal way. Through these matches, student ambassadors can empathize more with the prospects' experience, share what to expect, and make a connection that convinces prospects to enrol at your institution.

Drive diversity with the right platform

We don't expect you to send your student ambassadors out into the wild and hope for the best.

With a secure and intuitive Experience Communication Management (XCM) platform, such as The Ambassador Platform (TAP), you can build the right foundations for peer-to-peer outreach.

Here are two real-world examples of TAP in action:

  • The University of Queensland. This institution partnered with TAP to impact audiences they often found hard to reach. With the help of our safe Chat feature widget, they allowed website visitors to engage with their student ambassadors. During the three month trial period, 1,582 prospects engaged with the university.
  • Keble College, The University of Oxford. Through a mixture of targeted newsletters and direct conversations, Keble College engaged with over 150 prospects within a five-month period. Over 80 percent of these prospects were from a state school background. Within the first three months of using TAP, they exceeded all their targets.

Change the narrative

From cross-sector programs to ambassador-led outreach, these tips will help you accelerate your diverse student recruitment.

Armed with this knowledge, you can change the narrative for under-represented communities both locally and globally, all while boosting your recruitment efforts.

If you're interested in The Ambassador Platform and what it can do for your institution, please get in touch with our team.