Due to the incredible growth in the education industry more and more universities are looking forward to visiting schools in India, with the main idea to attract Indian students.

The question now is – How best can we optimize these university visits and be at an advantage?

A study conducted in 2015 indicated that only 26% of the 300 International Schools in India are effectively able to use the university visit to their advantage. School’s resources majorly spend their time on administrative and logistics tasks that goes behind connecting with a university.  Hence, they are left with a very little window of opportunity to assess the outcome and benefit of the visit.

In a typical scenario, universities visit schools, conduct a session (which may or may not benefit all the students), collect the demographic details of the students (as students are potential customers) and leave. These sessions more than often fail to create a long lasting impression in the student’s mind and hence they are left disappointed and dissatisfied.

Now, what should actually happen and how can we rectify the situation?

After extensive research, we inferred key parameters that schools should take note of before scheduling a university visit.

  1. Student Exposure:
    Students should be able to interact with admission officers directly and get answers to questions which may not be available on the university website, Google or Quora. This way, students would gain direct insights into the courses being offered by the university and the university’s culture. Here is a list 20 ideal questions students should ask the admission officer.
  2. Scholarship Insights:
    Most universities disclose only 30% of their scholarships on their websites and save the 70% for well deserved students. Conducting university sessions with Admission Officers will give students an opportunity to explore scholarship options and learn inside details.
  3. Academic Collaboration:
    Schools can team up with the University and design a mentorship program that would benefit both the students and the university. 
    For example: Glendale Academy, Hyderabad, teamed up with NewCastle University to give students exposure and hands on experience of building prosthetic arms.
  4. Parental Satisfaction:
    It is not often that parents get to meet admission officers face to face. Transacting a session between parents and admission officers will help in clearing the communication barrier between university and parents.
  5. Workshop for Teachers:
    After a session with students is done, university should be willing to conduct one with teachers, in order for teachers to explore and learn about various things the university has to offer. Teachers can use this information in the years to come for many batches. Universities on the other hand, will be happy to be a party of this extended activity because it would increase their brand recall.
  6. School Branding
    Schools can use university visits to brand themselves. Amongst parents, this will have a ripple effect and amongst universities, this will have a domino effect, where in more and more universities will want to visit the school and scout for talent.

This being said, in the foresight, there are few logistical errors that can be avoided and make the university visit extremely successful.

  1. Time Allocation:
    Many a times, admission officers who travel to India are unaware about the traffic and reach the school late, which ends up in wasted time for students and parents. To avoid this, the SPOC can inform the admission officer about the traffic woes and send an itinerary.
  2. Speaker Profile:
    There are times when the speaker is not experienced enough and is unable to engage with the audience which results in an unproductive session. School can request the university to send in an experienced representative who will be able to deliver an impactful session and answer student-parent queries.
  3. Personalised Presentation:
    Universities who are on a school visit roll often times re-cycle the same presentation and conduct sessions. In order to avoid this, schools can request the university to share the session notes beforehand and then approve the content.

Hope you find this information helpful! Don’t forget to share your valuable insights!