Open House, Griffith University’s socially distanced response to the traditional Open Day, has achieved a 14 per cent increase on prospective student registrations year-on-year.
The 12-week event finished on 1 October with thousands and thousands of webinars and video recordings viewed during the virtual recruitment activity.
Griffith Chief Marketing Officer Phillip Stork said the digital platform had provided new opportunities to connect with potential students during an extraordinary year.
“While COVID-19 meant we have been unable to host large groups of potential students at an on-campus Open Day event, Open House ensured virtual access to every campus and everything we offer from the comfort of people’s homes and the ease of personal devices, on not just one day, but over 12 weeks,” he said.
“COVID-19 has been an amazing opportunity to do things differently.”
Without the ability to meet potential students face-to-face a range of engaging content across all the academic groups was created or curated for an online audience.
The campaign included weekly spotlights on different study areas and live sessions every Tuesday and Thursday between 4 and 6pm with live webinars, panel discussions, career talks, seminars and one-on-one chats with study area experts.
A student adviser from Rockhampton applauded Griffith’s approach regarding the longevity of access to degree information and the availability of additional content through the Open House platform.
“Open House has enabled the kids in grades 9-10 to interact more deeply with the university experience and degree content which then allows them to be more informed when selecting their year 11-12 subjects (to get into the degree they want),” they said.
“A lot of Year 12’s in remote Queensland move to Brisbane for university, which is a big commitment, so there is a lot riding on making the right decision when applying for a course.
“Open House has allowed students to get the information easier than ever.”
A student from Centenary Heights State High School provided feedback that Griffith’s virtual platform was the best they’d seen.
“I attended all of the virtual events. Griffith’s was the easiest to navigate, with the most information.”
An impressed parent told the University’s recruitment team their experience was fantastic.
“Just wanted to say how good your online open day was,” they said.
“My daughter was talking to a few of your teachers and said she felt more relaxed and relieved how easy it was.”
Phillip Stork said Griffith’s Open House platform was produced in collaboration with vFairs.
“We evaluated a number of options when we realised how much the pandemic was going to impact our university community,” he said.
“Our Open House campaign has exceeded our expectations in a challenging year and we look forward to welcoming new students to Griffith in Term 3 2020 and next year.
“Following its success, the Open House platform will now be refreshed and stay open until December to allow prospective students continued access to the resources as they make their study decisions.”
Over the course of the 12-week campaign, more than 800 study area and support services staff worked across 26 virtual booths.
Compared to Griffith’s 2019 Open Day event, there was a slightly higher percentage of high school students who registered for Open House this year.
The majority of participants who logged on to the platform were interested in undergraduate degrees.