Applicant Retention Business Schools Conversion

Innovate and adapt: business school recruitment 2021

Introducing Union Spaces’ business-school package and earlybird offer for 2021

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Features and benefits of Union Spaces in the business school student recruitment cycle

The 2020 application season for graduate business schools was unlike any other. The pandemic-induced uncertainty impacted the decisions of b-schools and candidates and reconfigured the enrollment funnel.” – GMAC, Dec 9, 2020

Nothing is certain for the 2021/22 recruitment cycle except uncertainty. At Union Spaces, we’re working with business schools around the world to build confidence among domestic and international applicants by making them part of your community as part of the application process.

If you’d like to find out more about how we work, and our introductory discount for business schools requesting a demo in January 2021, please send us your details using the form below. We look forward to hearing from you.

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Applicant Retention Fostering Belonging

Analysis: Applicant retention is about building long-term community connections

Research shows how applicants can be helped to feel they belong, despite the absence of face-to-face events

As lockdowns remain in place around the world, HE institutions must continue to run 100%-virtual applicant retention strategies for the first time.

In most years the cycle would move from face-to-face open events (during the ‘enquiry’ phase) to applicant, offer-holder and admitted-student engagement events, as students apply and admissions teams compete to retain the right mix for their institutional targets.

Lightbulb moment

Under the old norms, these face-to-face events would, it was hoped, spark a ‘lightbulb’ moment in applicants, a realisation that they could see themselves living and studying in a particular town or campus.

But 2021 will not be like most years: there have been few or no face-to-face open events, and most likely there will be fewer in-person offer-holder days.

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How can student-recruitment and marketing departments achieve the same outcome – spark that lightbulb moment – and meet their institutional goals in this context? One answer is for universities to build long-lasting community connections with their future students, and deliver a consistent feeling of belonging.

The university network

Bridging the Digital Divide1, a WES report on securing enrolments with international students, points the way for domestic recruitment to improve applicant retention rates under COVID-19.

Analysing nearly five thousand 17-to-36-year-old students’ use of technology, the report proposes strategies for successful recruitment in the absence of face-to-face events.

The conclusions map well on to current conditions:

  • “A collective university network exerts the biggest influence on students’ decision-making processes with regard to college or university choice.
  • “Admissions officers, faculty, current students and alumni comprise a cohesive university network.
  • “HEIs need to form a strategic relationship with these stakeholders and have them interact with prospective students via digital technologies.”

In short, those universities which succeed in building and maintaining a network of influencers around strategically significant applicants throughout the application cycle will also succeed in retaining the offer-holders they most want to enrol.

The report’s authors write: “Our research indicates that a university network comprised of faculty, admissions officers, current students and alumni has the biggest influence overall on students’ choices during the application process.”

“Designated groups”

Verbatim quotes from remotely-recruited students in the report go further in demonstrating the potential effect of such networks:

“Provide avenues for prospective students to interact with faculty members through the internet.” – A doctoral student from Ghana

“Have designated groups for alumni that potential applicants can ask questions to regarding potential program choices.” – A master’s student from Canada

“[…] Encourage current students to come out to say some more about the program, their life and studying there.” – A master’s student from China

“Admissions staff should help applicants to smoothly go through the application requirements, especially for specific requirements.” – A master’s student from China

We have designed Union Spaces to meet these challenges and deliver the recruitment and applicant retention outcomes universities need with a community-based approach that brings these applicants’ needs together with all the resources of the pre-existing university network.

Long-term engagement

Union Spaces features, benefits and value over the long term
A student-recruitment platform designed for long-term engagement

Union Spaces is a welcoming place where prospective students can meet and engage with faculty, students and fellow candidates over the long-term.

We build a sense of belonging through the selection process with discussions, events, 1-to-1 conversations and video, all hosted on a single platform.

We are working with universities to build their applicant-retention strategies for 2020/21 and prepare for the next phase of lockdown-affected virtual student recruitment.

Right now we are booking demo slots for the next two weeks. Book your demo now to assess whether Union Spaces can enhance your applicant retention strategy.

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Fostering Belonging Retention

A new student recruitment architecture

Union Spaces puts all the technology features required for virtual recruitment into one cost-effective, scalable platform designed to meet a broad spread of university needs, including demonstrating value for money. Simpler for your staff to use: there’s only one system to learn. And simpler for prospective students: one login leading to a consistent branded experience which you control.

Download our introductory brochure here:

Retention Video Guides

Re-engaging with prospective applicants

Union Spaces makes it incredibly easy to re-engage with prospective applicants throughout their university selection process, so your university remains front of mind with candidates, from first contact until offer-acceptance.