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  • Writer's pictureZornitsa Licheva

Recruitment Strategy: What Gives You a Competitive Advantage Today

Updated: Jun 2, 2020

How should your university address competition today and in the long run?

In a recent article on the agility of universities, Dr Nita Temmerman, chair of two higher education academic boards, invited professor, and consultant to universities, outlines solutions to current challenges for higher education institutions.

Those who manage to swiftly integrate them into their student recruitment strategy can gain an immediate competitive advantage.

Competition is increasing

Dr Temmerman highlights the impressive number of universities currently offering quality education to students from around the world. Prospects can browse programmes in great depth and choose alternatives that are closer to their homes while still boasting a good reputation. What are higher education providers to do in this climate?


Some universities have already implemented a good strategy to attract and retain applicants – by offering additional academic scholarships. Business school prospects need reassurance that they will have excellent return on investment. Providing financial aid for study abroad options is another appropriate means to attract and support potential candidates.

Technology is attractive

Online learning solutions have been increasingly popular for a reason – even before the Covid-19 outbreak. As Dr Temmerman points out, flexible education offerings are preferred by students who are located in remote areas, full-time employees, and by those who have family commitments or medical conditions that prevent regular attendance on campus. “Those institutions that offer both on-campus and online classes become a more appealing prospect,” the author adds.

However, maintaining the high quality of online learning resources can be a challenge for higher education providers. The technology used to deliver them is of utmost importance.


If your university wants to continue with flexible study options after the Covid-19 crisis subsides, there are three factors to consider and implement:

  • Robust quality assurance mechanisms

  • Qualified staff to develop online education

  • Relevant professional support for the staff

Learning is lifelong

The business landscape, technological advances, and the job market as a whole are more fast-paced than ever. As a result, employers are looking for professionals who have an updated skill set and can demonstrate adaptiveness and an always-learning mindset.

So, it comes as no surprise that prospective students need to be reassured that their degree is practical and effective enough to secure their future employment. At the same time, more and more candidates are interested in “just-in-time” skill development or quick training schemes.


Higher education providers will need to work on new “credit arrangements and seamless qualification pathways”, Dr Temmerman explains. “This will allow individuals to access purposeful learning opportunities throughout their career that fit with their particular circumstances.

There are other strategies your university can invest in to highlight the relevance and effectiveness of your education packages. For example, does the programme curriculum feature enough industry experts who can provide a highly practical and business-driven approach to learning? “Such productive partnerships can help ensure that what is delivered is at the forefront of constructive knowledge and skills,” adds Dr Temmerman.

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