02 Jul

Whole Student Lifecycle approach endorsed by new Minister

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Yesterday the new Minister for Universities and Science Jo Johnson made his first major, and much anticipated speech, about higher education.

The title of the speech ‘Teaching at the heart of the system’ signals his overall thinking and policy ideas about the future of the sector.  At Hobsons we are excited to see that the Minister has reinforced the need for a whole student lifecycle approach, an approach that we’ve been taking for sometime with our advising and admissions solutions.

You can read the full speech here and we think that as usual there is some particularly good analysis from Mark at wonkhe!

We were most interested to hear the Minister say that universities must continue to provide, and look to meet, student’s value for money expectations.  He also said that students should be able to make informed choices and that he will push for more data to be available.  We are big believers in more effective use of data!

We were also pleased to see a renewed commitment to teaching excellence including that institutions should admit students from a range of backgrounds and support their retention and progression to further study or a graduate job and, critically, that there should be clear set of outcome-focused criteria and metrics to support this.

We’ve been digesting and examining what it means for Hobsons and our clients and we think it means three main things:

One: Institutions that we work with are increasingly making better use of tools like Radius CRM to provide their prospective students with a joined up experience and timely, targeted and personalised communications.

Two: We’ve seen the institutions we work with really start to leverage systems, particularly at key times in the year like the lead up to clearing, to stand out in an increasingly crowded market.

Three: We are increasingly hearing from institutions that want to enhance their student success and retention initiatives and support students achieve their academic goals.

We are excited that later this year we will be providing the opportunity for more UK universities to access the Starfish Student Success solution and I’m personally looking forward to talking to delegates at the AMOSSHE conference next week about the impact it has already had for some institutions.

06 May

Policy Exchange Conference: Alan Milburn – Education’s Role in Promoting Social Mobility – a focus for the next five years and beyond

Policy-Exchange-logo

Hobsons recently attended a Policy Exchange conference on education and social mobility, where Rt Hon Alan Milburn, who chairs the Social Mobility and Child Poverty Commission and is widely respected as the government’s social mobility champion, gave a speech to outline the part that education has to play in improving these respective elements of society over the next 5 years. Read More

22 Apr

We are shortlisted finalists for the 2015 Conference Awards!

We are so proud to announce today that we have been shortlisted for the Conference Awards 2015 within the Best Conference Series category!

Hobsons EMEA

Our annual conference Hobsons U, with the associated client events throughout the year, help us to engage and listen to our clients. We have built a community and fostered a sense of belonging to a group that participants really feel the benefit of being involved in.

Read More

31 Mar

UCAS Conference Review: What’s the student view?

Yesterday I presented at the UCAS Annual Conference running a session on international student decision making. Download the slides today.

Each year we survey students asking what’s important during the enquiry and application process.  One thing that is consistently highlighted as important to students at enquiry stage is “responsiveness of the university”, students use it as an indicator of teaching quality.  When it comes to responsiveness they expect a detailed reply within three days or a short reply within 24 hours.  You can get more insight in the full report Beyond the Data: Understanding International Student Decision Making.

As part of the session I asked the delegates when the last time was that they looked at their enquiry processes through the eyes of a prospective student, particularly an international student.  I also asked: Read More

27 Mar

UCAS Admissions Conference 2015: CRM Session Preview

UCAS Conference 2015

Next week Daniel Falls our solutions consultant and I have the pleasure of running  two sessions at the Annual UCAS Admissions Conference being held at the Celtic Manor Resort in Newport.

The first session will focus on what makes a good CRM implementation project.  We will be running this session with Alex Causton-Ronaldson.  Alex shared his experiences of implementing Radius our new flagship CRM at our recent client conference.

We are unique position of having worked with thousands of universities globally (including over 60 in the UK!) to implement new systems.  Our session will give attendees our top tips, here is a sneak preview:

1. Planning. Planning. Planning.
2. Make sure you have enough resources, it’s often more than you’d expect!
3. Get the data right. Not having a dedicated data contact can make or break implementation.
4. Consider who is going to be responsible day-to-day post implementation and get them involved from day one.

Probably the most important thing that we’ve found is the need to find the balance between a quick implementation and making sure we create a functional system and effective process so that you can maximise your institution’s success as well as your student’s experiences!

We’ll be uploading the slides after the event next week.  Hope to see you there!

20 Mar

International Higher Education Conference 2015

There was a great turnout for the International Higher Education yesterday. We shared highlights from our latest International Student Decision Making Survey with a focus on how to promote the value of a UK education to international students, and it was great to hear some of the conversations that this generated.

Download the presentation slides here, if you have any questions give us a call on 0207 250 6622 or email us at emea-markeitng@hobsons.com.

Stay tuned for the release of our 2015 International Student Decision Making report, if you haven’t already download our last International Student Decision Making report here.

Join in the conversation, tweet us @HobsonsEMEA and follow the hashtag #IHEforum15.

 

 

18 Mar

What’s the challenge for smaller specialist institutions?

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Yesterday Daniel Falls and I had the pleasure of talking to a group of communications and marketing professionals from GuildHE institutions.  Over the last couple of years we’ve started working with an increasing number of GuildHE institutions some of whom are making investments in CRM or application technology and others who are looking to improve their engagement and insight into their recruitment processes.

Claire Lorrain from Winchester University shared her thoughts at our recent Hobsons University Conference.

Dan and I provided an overview of a what’s important to international students in their decision making, how to build and maintain relationships with students throughout their applicant journey and shared some tips on what you can do to make your institution stand out based on our research Beyond the Data: Influencing International Student Decision Making.

One issue that came up during the discussion, and we’ve seen recently a fair bit, is the need to continue communications to students once they have enrolled.  There was a consensus that it was needed but we thought it was interesting that it was coming from a variety of directions including alumni teams, push to get better NSS scores or a general push to improve retention.

If you’d like to see our presentation check it out here.

Big thanks to Alex, Dee and the team for putting on this great networking forum!  We are looking forward to the next one!