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How strong is your student proposition?

Every year a university needs to engage a significant number of high quality prospective students to choose to study with them, ahead of other universities. 

To persuade students to enrol, universities need to prioritise the right messages to develop a compelling proposition for students, answering the key question for students, “why should I choose university X?”.

Think of it as an “elevator” pitch, what’s your 60 second response to the question, “why should I study X at your university?”.

Keeping it real is critically important if you want to successfully engage students to choose you.

How do you know if your answer to that question, (your student proposition) is any good? And how do you go about working out how to make it stronger?

A strong proposition should comprise of the following three key parts;

  • The benefit to a student from choosing to study at your university, what will you do to improve the student’s life, what are they buying for their money?

  • The proof point(s) to support your benefit, why students can believe you will deliver the benefit for them, how you are better than your competitors?

  • Your personality, the type of brand you are.

All three should be clearly articulated and can vary from course to course, so long as there are shared elements of the benefit and personality to create a consistent master brand for your university.

Is your student proposition concisely written down on one page of your website?

So let’s assume you already have a student proposition written down and the benefit, proof points and personality are clearly defined, how do you know if it’s any good? We assess the strength of the student proposition by asking ourselves a series of questions;

  1. How do you feel about the student proposition? Your emotional response to hearing the proposition, do you “love it” or “hate it”?

  2. Is the student proposition delivering the full message of your brand, the benefit, the claims and the personality?

  3. What is the single most memorable part of the proposition? Share it with a stranger and then ask them what is the one thing that stands out to them. 

  4. Is it purposeful, is the strategy (benefit and proof points) being communicated clearly? 

  5. Is it distinctive, will you stand out versus your competitors? 

  6. Is it relevant, will the proposition connect with the target market? 

  7. Does the context make sense given the target market?

  8. Is this really going to engage the target market to choose your university ahead of others?

Try putting a traffic light "Score" against each of these questions, was it mainly green lights, or were there a few amber and red lights?

If your answers to the above questions weren’t as strong and as convicing as you had hoped, now might be a good time to review your student proposition to develop a stronger articulation.

To persuade students to enroll, universities need to prioritize the right messages to develop a compelling proposition for students, answering the key question for students, “why should I choose university X?”.

We have a unique structured approach supported by workshops and training for your whole team to enjoy. We also have a proven approach to integrating individual course propositions with your overall master-brand with our brand equity matrix.

John Chatterton

+61432 906 790



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