With many universities, schools and businesses moving to learning and working from home, it has become a challenge for Outreach teams to reach potential students. Ellen Bailey, Student Recruitment Officer at Bishop Grosseteste University (BGU), shares how her team have been adapting their practices to continue helping pupils find their future in Higher Education.
Covid-19 has proved a challenging time for everyone in the educational system, and, as you can imagine, has significantly disrupted the typical work that our outreach team here at Bishop Grosseteste University are usually able to carry out. We have had to drastically adapt our outreach delivery methods – changing and adjusting to more digitised, accessible sessions that prospective students can effectively and easily use from home.
Remote working for the outreach team has been somewhat of an adjustment – as we’re sure it has for many. Gone are the days of travelling around the country delivering sessions on the benefits of higher education, attending careers fair and UCAS exhibitions; working from home and taking on more of an office role has been a huge change for us. With that being said, our team are constantly thinking of new and exciting ways to target prospective students outside of the classroom and have been working round the clock to come up with new and innovative ideas to captivate and reach out to students stuck at home.
In replacement of visiting schools and colleges across the UK and delivering presentations to students, we have now developed fantastic digital resources that can be accessed online. These are available to anyone, but more specifically aimed at students who are considering university or are interested in studying at BGU. These focus on researching universities from home and give advice on the next steps to take after applying for university. We will be regularly releasing more presentations on other topics (how to stay motivated whilst at home, student finance and more) so there will be plenty more resources for students to use.
We have successfully advertised these presentations and handouts via our newsletter, which is sent out to our network of teachers and careers advisors from across the country, as well as promoting this through our new LinkedIn outreach page. These resources are now also available on our website, so students can directly access the presentations themselves. You can find them here.
It’s proved quite a challenge – attempting to motivate students to continue with their studies whilst schools are off and exams are cancelled. We are keen to stress the importance of keeping up with work and studying and we continue to work closely alongside headteachers, subject teachers and careers advisors from schools and colleges who share our outlook.
We are lucky to live in the digital age where we can continue to communicate with prospective students through email, live chat, phone and video conferencing. We are always here to support students, parents, schools and colleges in whatever way we can.