In the true spirit of December and coming to the final chapter of 2021, we wanted to take a look back at the year and unpick what we learned over these past 12 months from our Student Pulse panel. 

Don’t forget this insight is available for free to all student marketers and if you would like to arm yourself with this unmissable student intel, request a login here.

Naturally, stress varies over the year

This is somewhat obvious; of course, stress fluctuates throughout the year, depending on the different challenges presented at that particular time. Think exams, deadlines, Covid news and so much more.

We can see that students faced the highest level of stress in August (in other words, Results Day?) but they also reported the third-highest level of stress in November. A month we perhaps don’t usually connect to negative emotions looking at the traditional education cycle. These findings are a great indicator of when to put out the more empathic content, as well as articles around managing stress and looking after mental wellbeing. They demonstrate the importance of talking to your students and finding out why they are feeling particularly stressed from one month to another. As student marketers, there’s much concern around the ‘Christmas melt’, this graph may be telling you to get a headstart on those nurture strategies to ensure your students are feeling supported, listened to, and happy in the lead up to, and throughout, the Christmas holidays.

Wavering levels of support

Similarly, the Student Pulse also tracks the level of support students are feeling from their university. We can see here that April was a particularly alarming month with one in five students feeling that their university was not supporting them at all. March recorded another month of uncertainty.

Going into 2022, what do you have planned for the springtime to ensure that your services and initiatives are signposted effectively so that students know there are places to turn to. Equally, this finding can inform the kinds of messages and content you are pushing at this time, opting for Q&A style articles and student ambassador takeovers. Ensuring you’re answering any questions, dealing with problems and letting students know you’re there to support them.  ​

What’s more, the Student Pulse uncovered that drugs and alcohol are causing a severe or moderate negative impact on students. Worryingly, this has been steadily increasing since April. While, thankfully, the percentage of students struggling with this is in the single digits, it’s pivotal that universities have structures in place to help vulnerable students and work with them to ensure they are healthy, safe and succeeding during their time at your institution.

The media underdog

Finally, we look at media consumption across the year. This is incredibly important as it gives you an indication of where you should be advertising and marketing, and how your students and prospective students behave in the digital world. Surprisingly, live TV shot up in the summer months (we guess we have the awful British weather and Love Island to thank for that…) so, for those who say traditional tv is out, Netflix and Amazon Prime are in… you may want to think again.

While these insights only paint a top-level picture, they are incredibly useful to understand where you should start your own research and planning, and to highlight the areas you may need to pay more attention to in order to be successful in your recruitment, enrolment and retention in 2022. 

It’s been a chaotic, stressful and challenging year for students, but with the Student Pulse, you’re better equipped to support them. Sign up or log in and check it out today. 

Article by

Eleana Davidson Native Author

Eleana Davidson

Content Manager