The message that students need most
The Coronavirus pandemic has left lots of people lonely in isolation, vulnerable in their circumstances and uncertain about the future. But there’s one group that don’t get mentioned much: students due to start further education.
They need a message of hope and reassurance.
This year’s intake of students starting college or university have the most uncertain future of any generation in recent history. As the world scrambles to establish a way through and out the other side of COVID-19, the education sector is planning and innovating for a new way of delivering education too.
And in that quest, there is an ambition with many to actually enhance education as a result of the crisis. To find better ways of teaching and learning; explore smarter methods of imparting knowledge; and discover more cost-effective means of facilitating the process for students.
Students need to hear these positives now. It’s a message that’s not getting through.
They need to know that their university or college of choice is planning an exciting future for them. And that there are likely to be real benefits to them of the new ways of doing things.
Significant increases in online delivery and distance learning are very likely, saving lodging costs for students, reducing time away from family and friends, and enabling better earning opportunities.
Streamlined online learning enables greater focus, and can result in better outcomes. And while it potentially reduces the social life, the pandemic has created an explosion in online socialising via Zoom, Skype, Teams and so on, which universities and colleges can look to incorporate within their education setup.
Colleges and universities should proactively communicate positive possibilities.
Students want to know that their university or college of choice cares about them. That’s the message that they need most. Not just a sterile, informative communication that conveys plans and arrangements, but a warm welcome and a positive promise of a great education ahead of them.
It doesn’t have to contain all the detail of how their education will be delivered right now. They know that things are changing fast and that details are probably being ironed out. But they need the reassurance that it is being worked on and there is a bright future ahead.
Getting this message right is essential for the future of the education sector.
Articles have been written elsewhere about the threat that Coronavirus poses to Universities, with the chance that students will change their minds and cancel courses. Maintaining student engagement and positivity is therefore essential, and the right message needs communicating, powerfully and appealingly.
Some organisations have got this down to a fine art already, sending engaging direct mail items to communicate a simple message of friendship, welcome and positivity, after being awarded a place. This is something that every university and college should consider now, and we suggest that the message is simple:
There is a bright future! Your education is going ahead, and it will be better than any year before. We’re planning exciting things – stay tuned…
We help universities and colleges to connect with their students in powerful and effective ways.
If you’re looking to get a message of hope out to your students, please get in touch. We’d love to discuss it with you.