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Effective student recruitment strategies in 2024: Insights from EdTech and Pancakes

Feb 21, 2024 | EdTech

How to recruit more students in 2024

In episode 4 of EdTech and Pancakes, In episode 4 of EdTech and Pancakes, we delved into ways to recruit and serve more students in 2024 with Akos Kiraly, Head of Sales Strategy at SRH Higher Education, discussing the intersection of higher education marketing and student recruitment strategies. SRH, a leader in private higher education across Germany and the Netherlands, serves over 20,000 students across its 11 campuses and a full distance learning university. Akos’s perspectives, enriched with the experience of implementing DreamApply, highlight the critical role of university admissions technology in intertwining human connection with forward-thinking student recruitment strategies.

“The job of the recruitment team is to thoroughly follow up with those leads and target them to potentially become an applicant,” says Akos, elaborating on the importance of engaging prospective students on their preferred platforms and at the right moments, painting student enrollment as more than a mere sequence of events but a carefully orchestrated annual journey.

This nuanced approach underscores the balance between strategic targeting and the personal touch required to transform interest into action, forming a key part of successful student recruitment strategies.

How to align admissions and marketing efforts for maximum impact?

Blending human touch with tech in student recruitment strategies

Akos eloquently reminds us that behind every application is a unique individual. “We should not forget that we are dealing with people. It’s not just one number or one file…we actually try to create and build a self of the applicants,” he says.

Recruitment is not just a job, but a skill of balancing standardized processes with each candidate’s unique background and potential – an idea at the core of DreamApply’s solutions for universities.

This approach brings to light the delicate act of balancing the necessity of standardized processes with the equally important personal understanding of each candidate’s unique background and potential – an idea at the core of DreamApply’s solutions.

Meeting modern learners’ needs

Today’s students have different expectations, shaped by a world where information is instant and accessible. “The needs of the target group have changed over the past 3 to 4 years…they are a lot more interested in blended learning options,” observes Kiraly, highlighting the shift towards more flexible learning models.

Akos mentions that the future generation of applicants and students will need education delivered at the highest quality through the channel that they use, which includes the admissions process.

Universities that want to lead the way need to adapt to the changing world in terms of the required technology, how they deliver programs but also in terms of how they process applications. I think transnational education will be even more important since the population of the globe is growing and growing, says Akos.

What trends should higher education marketers stay aware of in 2024?

Data-driven decision-making in higher education

Leveraging data effectively allows institutions to refine their student recruitment strategies and identify future opportunities. Akos stresses, “The data-driven working culture…tells us so much about where the opportunities and revenue markets will be in the future.

Efficiency in admissions: reducing administrative workload

When asked what he’d recommend admission teams to automate or what impacted his productivity most, Akos says “It is very important that the system that your team is using doesn’t create additional work but actually lowers the workload of your admission team. We started to use DreamApply a couple of years ago, and we really made this decision based on the system.”

What are SRH’s favorite automations?

Akos highlights the efficiency gained by automating vital yet time-consuming tasks, ”We especially like those features in your system that reduced the actual work of our admission team members. Reminding people of their missing documents, reminding applicants about deadlines, reminding applicants about the next steps—all those steps can be automated and the system uses a lot of those optimizations”.

Why SRH uses DreamApply to streamline admissions?

Collaboration in admissions: DreamApply’s role in SRH’s stakeholder engagement

Building on his emphasis to stay data-driven, Akos adds “We really liked the ability to pull data and evaluate data in the live system. So we are really able to manage our funnel on a data-driven basis. And of course, as a university, we work with recruitment partners, with country managers, with the admissions team, with academia. So we needed to create a system where those stakeholders have access to it.

Looking Ahead: AI and the future of admissions

Looking into the future, Kiraly envisions AI playing a crucial role in admissions, revolutionizing student recruitment strategies. “AI is starting to define our day-to-day work” he predicts, highlighting the need for institutions to adapt to technological advancements. In the podcast episode, we discussed ways in which AI has already influenced the admissions process, such as the usage of ChatGPT by students.

Listen to the full podcast episode: How to recruit and serve more students in 2024

About DreamApply

Founded in 2011 in Estonia, DreamApply is an innovation-driven EdTech organization improving access to education around the globe. DreamApply’s application management software helps more than 300 educational institutions across 40 countries improve admissions, marketing, scholarship management and other internal processes.

DreamApply’s easy-to-use and customizable software increases student enrollment by 30% and reduces application processing time by 40%. With features designed with and for educational institutions, and integrations with commonly used systems, DreamApply empowers teams to get more done with less effort.

Continue exploring by requesting your free, personalized demo.

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