How to use stories for student recruitment

Andreas Øgaard
September 27, 2021

How can stories be used as a tool in student recruitment?

Stories can be used to create engaging image and video content - helping to build a relationship with potential applicants. We have made it possible to add stories, known from Instagram and Snapchat, directly to websites. Social media enhances informal communication with potential applicants and thus strengthen the applicant's commitment as well as interest to the program. 

Many are unsure of what they want to study. Some simply have no idea of what they want to be when they grow up, while others struggle to choose between different majors/courses.

Stories can especially play a role in getting the right student to the right place. Potential applicants can gain a unique insight into what everyday life as a student at the various study programs is like, and further assess whether this is something that suits them or whether they would rather study something else. Stories can help make the choice for potential applicants easier, and the likelihood of more motivated students also increases significantly.

This type of student recruitment is beneficial both for students and universities. 

The universities that use stories today post one or more stories on the various study program-pages to show:

What a normal day at the school looks like

Students at the various programs can show us what a normal day as a student looks like. Potential applicants become familiar with the various study programs and subjects. Students can also show what social activities and extra-curricular programs new students can join, and give study- and exam tips. The goal here is always to help students make the right choices.

Career opportunities after graduating

Let former students share their career experience post studies. What kind of jobs have the former students entered, and how does a typical day at work look like?

It is just as important for potential applicants to form an image of what their everyday work commitments will be after graduation, as what everyday life as a student will look like. Maybe they had a different perception of the job than what it is really like? By gaining insight to this before applying to university, potential applicants can assess whether this seems interesting or not.

This type of insight can contribute to better retention and students enduring the entire educational course, in addition to the increased likelihood of students choosing a career they really master and enjoy.

Guided tour of campus

Show the campus from its best side and give the students an impression of what everyday-life on campus will look like. What amenities do the campus offer? Maybe a fitness center for those who want to pump in between lectures, or maybe a start-up lab for future entrepreneurs? Where do students find the best reading places, and last but not least, where is the student inn located?

The advantage of this type of story is that it can be reused across the various program-pages. It is also a great opportunity to show exactly what their campus has to offer, and can help to create commitment and excitement for potential applicants. 

The service is used by several of Norway's largest universities for the following reasons:

Cheaper and faster video production: Compared to traditional video, stories can be created by almost anyone, even without prior video editing experience. 

Increased interest from students: By sharing relevant information about the university programs, life on campus and work opportunities, the universities get the right candidate to apply for the right majors / courses.

Increased retention rates: Dropout rates are often caused by making a decision based on too little information. This is costly, as it can be difficult to fill second and third year seats
Communicate with the target audience on their terms: Young people today are more accustomed to watching short format videos instead of reading long texts to gather information. This is also perceived as more authentic, and has been proven to increase engagement.