You might have filled all of your courses with the record-breaking number of students placed at universities this year, but how are your students feeling in the run-up to term? From mental health to media trends, Akero’s Student Pulse dashboards tell all. Let’s take a look at the headline findings from August and how they can be used to foster happy students come September.
1. Signpost your support
Mental health has featured heavily in the news lately and there’s a reason why - burnout is real. Students have faced another tough year of learning through a pandemic. Stress levels were at an all-time high during the peak of Covid-19 and, fortunately, they are now decreasing. But that doesn’t mean you should put the breaks on your support systems.
Before term starts, set up starter packs with information on where to go for mental health support. Did you know that six in 10 students would like access to university support services anonymously? Make sure your students know how to access your support systems and work on campaigns that break down the taboo associated with asking for help.
2. Don’t hold back - shout about your plans for Freshers' Week
Freshers' Week is a rite of passage for most students, not to mention the most anticipated event of the year. Get students excited about their first week at your institution with transparent communications about what they can expect.
If you can’t commit to plans just yet, get them excited by showcasing the previous year’s events. 77% of students would like to know more about the Freshers' Week events, yet only 26% have received that information. If you can’t release institution-wide agendas, why not ask your student societies to shout about all the fun events they’re planning. (Bonus points if you can do this with user-generated content!)
3. And speaking of societies, foster those communities early
The earlier the better when it comes to hyping up your societies and promoting socialisation. Encourage your current students to set up forums welcoming fellow society members in September. Students will feel a lot more confident going to university if there’s already a familiar face waiting to greet them.
4. Highlight your vocational opportunities
The Student Pulse revealed that decision-making is influenced by the nature of the job market. The prospect of job hunting in a period of economic decline has caused some students to opt for work rather than study, believing that vocational training will be more beneficial to their job prospects than securing a degree.
Although Results Day is over, Clearing definitely isn’t. Don’t miss out on the chance to enrol students because they’re dubious about their prospects post-university. Instead, highlight how your institution sets students up for success, offering work experience and partnering with employers to facilitate students’ job searches after graduation.
Deliver a powerful, exciting Welcome Week that showcases everything on offer at your institution. Showcase your student success stories and signpost the employment opportunities available on campus to your new starters.
The key takeaway? Don’t forget about your students once they’ve accepted a place to study with you. Students are looking for clear and transparent guidance as they move towards the start of term this year. Be open and honest in your communications about what your institution offers and how it will benefit your students.
If you’re still looking to fill your places this year, get in touch and we’ll help you meet your enrolment targets. And if you’re looking for more advice on student retention and boosting morale, we can help with that, too.