Top Tasks Stand Out on Easy-to-Scan International Student Home Page
International student recruitment is a core part of enrollment plans at many colleges and universities for reasons that range from diversity to international status to revenue enhancement. Competition is fierce. And the home pages for potential international students often are the first place that competition begins. Making a strong first impression is as important here as anywhere.
The University of Sheffield presents international visitors with an easy-to-scan array of task links, starting with available academic programs at undergraduate and graduate levels.
An unusual element…
Immediately below the academic program links is a can’t miss link to “Start here: choose your country.” An unusual touch… the single country info often starts with the year the first person from a particular country was known to have graduated, quickly highlighting what are often long-term relationships.
People who continue on the page will quickly see other key topics:
- Pre-departure information from visas to housing and more. Placement at the top of the page makes great good sense as potential students might well want to check this even before applying for admission. Other content topics include:
- A “warm welcome” to “Out Special City.”
- A special section for European Union students.
- “British education at its best,” promoting The University of Sheffield brand.
- “Financial help” via scholarships and awards.
- Two well-done, short, believable videos: “We are all international students” and “International post-graduates: your journey to Sheffield.”
Content placement note: I especially liked that the available academic program content is placed ahead of the self-promotional “British education at its best” brand content. Brand promotion certainly has a place… but it should not have priority over more important top task content.
Google Test My Site gives the Communications page a “Fair” 6 second mobile speed rating, estimating a 24 percent visitor loss from download speed.
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