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How the University of Birmingham and Edinburgh welcome International Students

Social media has become one of the most powerful communication tools at our disposal. We use it to convey urgent messages, to reach out and connect with people and to inform ourselves. Universities use it to build an online community, to engage with and stay in touch with current, and to stay in touch with past and future students. Social media is now one of the powerful weapons a university has at its disposal to make students feel a part of their campus.

For international students, social media is a research tool and a vital lifeline to a university they may no other connection to. This year’s International Student Survey (ISS) from Hobsons found that 83% of prospective students use social channels to research universities (a 19% increase from 2016). Interestingly, there’s a direct correlation between how popular a university’s social media channels are and the number of international students they recruit. This seems to suggest that a universities social media presence impacts on how successful they are in welcoming international students. 31% of respondents also cited that they are highly motivated in choosing an institution by how welcome they feel. (Source: Times Higher Education)

This ties neatly in with our own research around how universities are adapting to the current climate. To win the interest of international students, universities must actively show that they can offer a welcoming environment.

The online sphere can assist universities in welcoming students at every stage of the process from the research phase right at the very beginning, giving them an opportunity to connect with other students before they arrive, making them feel welcome when they get here, offering support during their time on campus to keeping that bond alive after their time is up. There’s obviously no substitute for that real personal touch but social media has the benefit of mass reach.

We have chosen two welcome messages we have seen from Edinburgh University (link to #edwelcome on twitter) and The University of Birmingham (link to #hellobrum on twitter) to share with you in today’s post. 

University of Birmingham

The University of Birmingham has over 6500 students from 150 different countries around the world. We love this video they have shared on their Instagram page – a simple video featuring a selection of their international students saying welcome in their respective languages.

 

Welcome to the University of Birmingham! Here's just a few of the nationalities we have on campus #hellobrum #weareinternational

A post shared by University of Birmingham (@unibirmingham) on

University of Edinburgh: Scotland Welcomes the World

This is another really simple but effective video with a powerful message; Scotland welcomes the world. The video features a selection of flags from three quarters of the world’s nationalities which make up the University of Edinburgh community.

Sometimes the simplest messages are the most powerful. How has your university used social media to welcome international students? Let us know in the comments below and we would love to feature you. 

Tagged: Recruitment , Social Media , HigherEd

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