Tips for recruiting students during Covid-19

For student recruiters and admission officers

Tips for recruiting students during Covid-19

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With the coronavirus turning the education scene into an online-dominated service, universities and other higher education providers are starting to wonder how to adapt their recruitment strategies to the current scenario. Without a doubt, Covid-19 has transformed and will continue to transform the education scene on one hand making it more affordable for more people, but on the other hand demanding a new set of tools and delivery methods.

Among the most common challenges faced by Universities we find the need to deliver course curriculum adaptable for e-learning experiences; the need to provide a solution to the current dilemma of international students, start their studies online, delay the start of their studies or turn to local institutions to start their studies; the demand for hosting virtual campus tours, virtual Q&A sessions, among others.

If you want to learn more about the risks and challenges for student recruitment during the 2020 pandemic, download our e-guide resource about recruitment during Covid-19.

➲ Download our e-guide "Recruitment during Covid-19" here

Tips for recruiting students during Covid-19 times

Covid-19 has brought changes and limitations due to mobility restrictions, a changing economic environment, and a shift of priorities among students and their families. 

The first step towards maintaining a healthy recruitment strategy includes revising the education offer of universities and adapting to the current needs of students. Making clear in the offer, the possibility to start the studies online and then transfer remaining classes on campus, the possibility of virtual onboarding sessions, online courses to collect degree credits, online pre-masters and pre-bachelor’s with easy-track to a on campus degree, and cultural immersion experiences to complement online classes once the pandemic ceases, can make a big difference in the attractiveness of your offer. At the end, the effort of bringing leads to your institution is reduced to 0 if the offer is unattractive to the students. 

Below we have listed some tips for you to shape your student recruitment strategy during Covid-19 times.

Analyze and modify your goals:

Key performance indicators and recruitment targets were based on a normal scenario. Now it is time to reassess those numbers and bring them back to reality. Only with realistic goals one can then map out a plan to achieve them.

Revise and re-arrange your target market regions:

It makes sense to decrease the marketing activities and spending in regions which are highly-affected by Covid-19. If the recovery forecast of these regions is rather pessimistic or takes longer than the average, there is very little chance that students from these countries will have mobility and study abroad as their priority or even possibility in the short-term.

Recruiting students during covid-19

Adjust your marketing budget to support more online activities:

With most of the study fairs, college visits and offline marketing activities being cancelled, a wise step to take is to allocate the unspent budget to online activities that can build on long-term assets for the University. Students may not be actively applying for a degree abroad, but they are using the time to explore more about Universities and their academic and extracurricular offers. Using your time to create content online, build fruitful cooperations with aggregators and bloggers and get the word about your institution out on the internet is a very good investment for the future. 

Additionally if the recruitment and enrollment process continues as planned for 2020 and 2021, the best channels to use in the current conjuncture are online based channels. If you are interested in more information about the activities you can implement at your University, we suggest to download our e-guide "Recruitment during Covid-19" here.

Leverage virtual experiences and gatherings:

Since students cannot visit your campus and engage with the student life in person, it is your responsibility to create virtual spaces that promote these experiences. Virtual campus tours, webinars, virtual student gatherings, an online tandem partner program that pairs new/prospective students with students/alumni, Facebook and Instagram Q&A live sessions, etc. will help keep the positive attitude up and display an excellent brand image amongst students and their families.

Invest in technology: 

With the boom of e-learning and e-teaching, it is wise to invest budget in tools that will soften the transition from on-campus teaching to online classes. These tools are an investment that will benefit different areas: they will help you keep the education promise to current students, help deliver class samples to prospective students and, make video communication channels more efficient, among others.

Finally, besides investing in technology tools, it is also important to invest time and effort in developing new marketing channels. The use of social media, video marketing and the application of remarketing techniques regardless of the chosen channel, in order to differentiate between students who are warm leads, students who are applicants, and students who were admitted to your University. 

During the upcoming months, we are releasing a series of articles on recruitment tips and advice during Covid-19. If you are interested in following this series, subscribe to our Newsletter. As a welcome gift you will receive our recruitment e-guide as well as exclusive access to special promotions for our subscribers. 

➲ Get our e-guide "Recruitment during Covid-19" here

If you are interested in promoting the programs, courses, scholarships, professional training on campus, online or blended offered by your institution, please contact us at We will be happy to boost and support your student recruitment strategy during these tough times, plan and optimize your recruitment strategy for 2021, or support you filling in the last seats in your 2020 programs.


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