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With over 160 higher education institutions in the UK alone and more than 2.30 million students, competition between universities and colleges remains high. Attracting new students can be a challenge!

Institutions are constantly seeking new ways to stand out from the crowd and position themselves as one of the best. Identifying the unique selling proposition (USP) of the campus and focusing on this when advertising is what will attract prospective students.

But would you consider “student experience” as a USP?

Everyone knows that delivering an outstanding student experience is one of the key elements to success. The Student Academic Experience Survey 2019 found the following….

7

0%

found it better than expected
9

0%

worse than expected
8

0%

found it better in some ways and
worse in others
10

0%

found is exactly how they expected

Students love to share their experiences, especially via social media. Over half of the latest generation, gen Z, spend more than three hours per day on social media. Whether it be negative or positive, the experience they share will impact the universities reputation, especially as it’s more difficult to encourage people to share their positive experiences over the negative ones.

With this in mind, student experience contributes massively towards boosting your retention and is a deciding factor on whether a prospect chooses your institution over another. If the experience you offer the students is outstanding and different from other universities, this can be considered a USP.

An exceptional example of a university that has used its outstanding student experience as a USP is Loughborough University. Since the inception of the Times Higher Education Student Experience Survey in 2006, Loughborough has topped the table eight times, and come top five no less than 11 times. With an award-winning Students’ Union, sports clubs, societies, and community spirit, it’s clear to see why the university promotes the student experience as a USP. But how do they advertise this?

Check out https://www.lboro.ac.uk/study/. The first thing you notice is “Study at a TOP 5 UNIVERSITY with the best student experience in the UK.” Simple but super effective! They also include their award-wins on the homepage, including:

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We can see from the university’s facts and figures, that student experience is having a positive impact on their student numbers. There was a 3.5% increase from 2017 to 2018 and a 2.2% increase from 2018 to 2019. In addition to the impact on student numbers, their total income increased from 2017 to 2018 by 3.7%! We’re very proud to call them a customer!

The student experience can definitely be advertised as your USP, providing it’s different, engaging and of course – unique!  From the moment the student arrives on your website to the day they pack their bags and leave, there are various ways you can enhance the experience at every step of their journey.

To find out more ways to improve the student experience, download our free eBook!