How Universities can successfully respond to the challenges of COVID-19

By June 1, 2020Blog

Why now is the time to be bold on business development

How Universities can successfully respond to the challenges of COVID-19

Since the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic it has become clear that the business development teams of higher education institutions will have to adjust to the demands of the virus. A predicted 50-75 per cent decrease in international student numbers and approximately 230,000 UK students planning on deferring their studies to the next academic year necessitates a business development change for universities across the country. These changes by universities will have to swiftly address the absence of open days, careers fairs and assembly talks at schools if they hope to keep ahead of the damage the pandemic has caused.

These issues, however, also present universities with an opportunity. Universities globally are faced with similar issues, and as such the playing field can be considered somewhat level. Now is the time for universities to demonstrate to prospective students and local business that their institution is ahead of the curve and proactive. Failure to rise to the new challenges the coronavirus has presented, through hesitation or lack of sufficient preparation, is bound to result in long lasting reputational damage among students.

So what can universities do right now to best position themselves from a business perspective? Primarily the construction of a robust online teaching platform will certainly increase current student satisfaction and subsequently peak the interests of prospective students. The University of Cambridge has already begun this process, making all of their courses available online for the next academic year. In addition to this the establishment of an effective student welfare system will put anxious prospective students at ease as they make their university selections.

Perhaps the most important step universities must take is rapidly addressing the aspects of their business development plans rendered obsolete by the pandemic. With the biggest issue being the inability to have face to face contact with prospective students, online and telemarketing is essential for institutions hoping to reach out to as many schools as possible. An effective marketing strategy and an exceptional telemarketing team will undoubtedly enhance a university’s ability to connect with the right people and present themselves in the best light.

Currently at Chartered Developments our highly praised and diverse telemarketing team are ensuring business development teams at universities are optimising their Zoom, Skype and Webex video calling time with schools, colleges and businesses. Despite lockdown our lead generation campaigns have had continued success.  Due to the solitary nature of the pandemic and the furloughing of reception staff decision makers are accessible, and  our lead generation team’s holistic approach to the work has been met positivity by the likes of careers advisors and heads of talent.

Attached is a video blog from our Head of Client Services, Thomas Morgan, and Co-Founder, Peter Rosenwald, discussing the current state of the market and how our lead generation services play a role in helping universities with their campaigns.

Contact Peter Rosenwald peter@chartdev.co.uk

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