• Students look for digital presence when choosing universities

Universities need to pay more attention to their digital presence when it comes to engaging with prospective students, according to new research.

The study, the Digital Search for Education, which was carried out by G/O Digital, questioned over 1,520 students enrolled in higher education courses. It found that for 53% of those surveyed most often using search engines when researching universities – while, 58% said that online reviews were highly important in their school selection process.

Although campus visits remain a deciding factor for students, with 31% citing their visit as the primary deciding factor in choosing a school, for a student to get to that point they would have most likely interacted with the establishment’s digital presence in some form or another.

The report said that higher education institutions with a cumbersome website should be concerned, as 32% of students left a school’s site due to poor navigation.

Establishments that aren’t investing in their social media presence could also be missing out on candidates, as 32% of those surveyed reported that they were following colleges and career schools whilst they were making their decision.

Facebook remains the most popular social network with 62% of students choosing to follow an institution on Facebook over any other social media site, while over half the students stated relevant information about their programme were the most important posts a school could make, irrespective of social site.