We have partnered with SFU Strategic Enrolment Management (SEM) and recruitment teams for two years. In each case, data, research and insight not only lay the challenge for each of the year-long recruitment campaigns, but also provided the insight to inspire creative. Ultimately, our challenge has been to define a distinct SFU voice – an edgy and bold tone that differentiates SFU from its peers, and one that will resonate with prospective students. We know, from research, that students want an authentic representation of the SFU experience, with clear communication to express the fact that SFU is a tough and academically demanding school. In telling stories of SFU students, we could emphasize these attributes, and clearly position SFU as an exceptional university with world-class faculty. Through these stories, our campaigns have placed particular emphasis on SFU’s highly supportive learning environment, and the unique extent to which SFU students are enabled and encouraged to explore and discover new skills and areas of interest. These messages have been infused into a campaign of emotionally engaging recruitment materials.
Simon Fraser Student Success & Strategic Support team had data to support the notion that the first six weeks of a student’s experience at SFU, can massively impact student satisfaction and engagement for the duration of their time on campus. We partnered with SFU to further investigate this, to understand student behaviour, and to shed light on factors impacting student engagement and student experience. The research study lasted over a year, during which time we interviewed hundreds of students and faculty. From on-campus student intercepts, formal interviews, a series of online surveys and hosting focus groups, we collected significant data and produced a comprehensive set of findings and recommendations. Our findings gave SFU insights into ways to ‘spark’ students to inspire focus and purpose, to increase student engagement, and ultimately to ensure their time at SFU is the very best it can be.
Our partnership with SEM and undergraduate recruitment at SFU has enabled us to work closely with a team of experts who have data and insight from the front lines. The information provided by them, together with primary and secondary research, directly helped shape each campaign of recruitment material. This partnership and resulting campaigns have galvanized SFU’s recruitment team, giving them a clear direction forward and a distinct, memorable, compelling personality for their University.
The research study for Student Success & Strategic Support brought rigour and strategy to a significant and important challenge — how to encourage and support student engagement. Our report shed light on student behaviour and brought understanding to the SFU team. It also gave SFU tangible, actual strategies and insights into ways to ‘spark’ their students and awaken them to the very best, engaged student experience.