University rep visits are a vital opportunity for students - especially when they're hoping to travel abroad for university.
The university research process can feel a bit impersonal when your students' potential destinations are based in another country! It's not always feasible for students to travel to each university's open day and recruitment events - especially since the outbreak of COVID-19.
So it's important that your students are given the chance to get to know the personalities of the universities they are considering, and to ask questions that will help them make an informed decision.
Many of the counselors we work with try to invite universities from a wide variety of specialities and locations to their school campus or to host virtual events in order to showcase the diversity of possible post-secondary opportunities available to their students.
However, they often face a number of challenges. These can include:
These challenges have only been made greater by the events of 2020. COVID-19 has disrupted the recruitment strategies of universities worldwide, and in-person rep visits to some international schools remain out of the question.
This has forced both schools and universities to move towards online channels in order to coordinate school visits that will fully benefit students.
But having been forced to adapt to online and remote learning, students are understandably suffering from what is now known as ‘Zoom fatigue’. The volume of online lessons, talks and university fairs is such that your students may be switching off.
So, in this article, we’re going to give you a tour of our BridgeU’s University Connect feature.
We'll give you a refresher on how it works, and show you how to use it to organise university visits that are personalised and relevant to the ambitions and interests of your students.
That's right - the entire BridgeU platform is completely free! To see how your school can use University Connect to coordinate rep visits to your school, get set up with your free account.
University Connect is a way for counselors and admissions reps to network with each other, to arrange university visits, and collaborate in meeting their respective strategic goals.
It allows counselors to:
So, without further ado, here's our easy process to help you make the most of University Connect to expand your network of university contacts and make sure your students have access to the best opportunities.
University Connect works by giving admissions reps direct access to your calendar, so you can save the back and forth involved with finding a suitable time!
To publish your availability for visits, click on the "School Settings" tab on the sidebar, and navigate to "University Connect Availability". Then, click on the button to "Add Slot".
From the pop-up window, you will be able to choose which days and times you are available, and specify which types of visits you are open to.
Note: By default, universities will be able to request visits with your school. If your calendar isn’t populated, they will be able to request any time. To streamline the process, we highly recommend that you publish your availability!
When universities request a visit with you, you will receive a notification within BridgeU, as well as an email reminder. The next step is for you to respond to the request.
In the "University Visits" sidebar tab, click on "University Connect". You will see a list of any pending visits which are awaiting your decision. You can choose to accept or reject the request, or propose a new time.
If you are proposing a new time, your message will be sent to the university, to let them know to send a new request. You can also choose to share your email address with the university so they can contact you directly.
Once you have accepted a request, it will populate in the “Accepted” tab, showing you all of your upcoming visits in one place! You can also see any rejected visits in the "Rejected" tab.
When you're all set up with your visit requests, it's time to publicise them to students and parents!
Under "Published Visits", you will find the existing University Visits feature. Click "Create University Visit".
Input the details of your university visit. When the event has been created, all students who have shortlisted the visiting universities will be notified.
Additional resources: Learn more about publicising University Visits by reading our Help Center article or dedicated blog post.
So there you have it!
That’s everything you need to know about how you can make use of University Connect in order to introduce your students to the best opportunities.
To see how you can use BridgeU to connect with university admissions reps, create a free account for your school. Just click here to get started!
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