genuine student blogging as an strategy to attract new students
Kristin was one of those students who in her second week of the web design by blogging class I taught last spring said “I want my own domain, and which blog software is the best and I don’t care if I have to learn php to set it up?” She’s been blogging ever since at Dietro Vetro. Enthusiastic students rock. This semester she’s UiB’s professional, potential-student-catching blogger, at studblogg.uib.no.
I actually have a little bit to do with it, since some of the information people at the university contacted me a few weeks ago to see what I thought about the idea of running a student blog. It was great fun spending half an hour talking about ideas with them – almost made me feel like one of those groovy experts who spends all her time just chatting with people and brainstorming and then moving on without having to do any of the dirty work. Most satisfying. And it really is so cool working at a university where they’re up for trying new ways of doing things.
It’ll be very interesting to see how the strategy works in terms of luring potential students to actually apply for our university. I think I’d be captivated if I were a potential student, anyway. Kristin’s very up front and funny about the fact that she’s being paid to do this, and I know being paid to blog changes things. Her first post is great – I mean, if I were a potential student, I would love being able to read about how a real student lives, what a flat costs and what kinds of things a bunch of students sharing a house get up to. There are useful links to sites with info about houses, but they’re not presented boringly, and there are fun links to her own past blog posts about how a rat died in the kitchen wall (yuck) and so on.
Does anyone know whether other universities have tried this kind of campaign?
7 thoughts on “genuine student blogging as an strategy to attract new students”
Aalborg University in Denmark had student blogs as a part of their campaign site a couple of years ago. The bloggers didn’t have much passion (and weren’t paid, I’m sure) so they qickly died. Nothing is online anymore. I still think the concept is good and the fact that UiB is doing it just proves it. :o)
Jeg tror ikke vi har tenkt sÂ langt i forbidelse med vÂre eksterne nettsider her pÂ NTNU, men jeg vil definitivt sende en mail til vÂr ledelse med en kobling til posten din, hvem vet, kanskje er de klar for litt nye ideer?
Dennis G. Jerz
Seton hill has an Admissions blog that was written by a student intern last semester, though this term it’s being written by an employee who is a very recent graduate. But the blogging this article focused on was administrative blogging.
The same issue of the paper also had a feature on the academic blogging that I and my students do.
We have attempted to use a blog (http://www.uv-guru.no/blog/) as part of a marketing campaign (http://www.uv-guru.no)we are running at the Faculty of Education at the University of Oslo to attract potential students. Basically our goal was to communicate WITH the potential students rather than AT them, as we have done in the past. It was also used to involve faculty members and current students.
Actually I had a meeting with a group of students this morning about the possibilities of them running their own blog to show perspective students what it is like to study at our faculty. I believe the current students should be involved in the blog not the faculty administrative staff who are currently setting out posts simply because they have to.
In terms of who else is using blogs for recruiting potential students, I believe Ball State was one of the first:
My source was from Karine Jolyís fantastic blog on University Marketing:
Spot on! Nothing like a student blog to attract new students.
The BBC site seems to host a number of student blogs e.g. Leeds student blogs at
It seems a bit artificial and most of the the students only do a couple of entries. The marketing part seems to by the BBC (getting regional/personal content) and the town or city (in this case, Leeds) trying to attract students to study in the city.
The Masters of Media blog (http://mastersofmedia.hum.uva.nl) is a collaborative initiative from the New Media Master students of the University of Amsterdam. The blog was constructed in September 2006 as part of the new media practices course, given by Geert Lovink. Setting up the blog and discussing how to use it were part of the course.
Besides our collaborative blog we all maintain a personal research blog which will contain our process/thoughts/results of writing our Master thesis.