How EIT InnoEnergy scaled student engagement amid COVID-19

About EIT InnoEnergy
EIT InnoEnergy partners with 14 top ranking technical universities across the EU. Combining technical knowledge with commercial awareness, EIT InnoEnergy provides post-graduate education programmes at Master’s level as well as online and blended professional courses covering the most in-demand, relevant topics within the sustainable energy sector. EIT InnoEnergy partnered with UniQuest in 2019 to optimise student conversion.

Communicating through crisis

‘My IELTS exam was cancelled and what if I can’t reschedule?’; ‘what if I can’t get a visa?’; ‘can I defer?’. The coronavirus pandemic has raised a myriad of questions for prospective international students. Months into the global health crisis, there is still a lot of uncertainty which is as frustrating for higher education professionals as it is for students.

Faced with uncertainty, it’s natural to want to freeze communications. But, students need to know now more than ever that universities are there for them.

EIT InnoEnergy understood that demonstrating care through proactive outreach goes a long way in fostering students’ trust in an institution. In response to the disruption caused by coronavirus, it worked with UniQuest to accelerate communications with its international Master’s prospects.

Responding early

EIT InnoEnergy recruits students from all over the world. When countries began to lock down, EIT InnoEnergy had the challenge of adapting its programmes at pace with the varying protocols in countries across Europe where its partner universities are located while juggling the diverse expectations of students by market.

‘Even when you don’t have all the answers, it’s key to assure students that you’re working on it.’

Javier Arias, Senior Marketing Manager – Master and PhD Schools, EIT InnoEnergy

Informed by data from UniQuest’s conversations with one million international students across the UniQuest partner community, EIT InnoEnergy created targeted content and worked with UniQuest to deliver multichannel communications to address student concerns. Where the institution didn’t yet have all the answers, EIT InnoEnergy still proactively contacted students to show that students are its priority.

As part of the student engagement strategy, UniQuest recommended a webinar to facilitate group Q&A. The Q&A event attracted 220 registrants, achieved a 67% attendance rate and students asked over 160 questions. Given the webinar’s success, EIT InnoEnergy is now hosting bi-weekly webinars with prospective students to nurture relationships through this stressful period.

Scaling communications quickly

As UniQuest was managing multichannel communications with prospective students, EIT InnoEnergy worked with each of its university partners to guarantee online delivery of all courses for the September 2020 intake with a 50% fee reduction. Swift action to provide students some certainty in a tumultuous environment makes a huge impact on students’ confidence to continue pursuing their study goals. Within just a couple of weeks, EIT InnoEnergy confirmed its plans for September and worked with UniQuest to get the word out quickly.

‘The recent announcement moving the course online and the speed at which this was done has ensured me I can prepare well for September regardless of whether it’s online or face-to-face.’

Applicant, Italy

UniQuest brings all the capabilities to rapidly scale communication. The UQ platform integrates with popular communication tools like WhatsApp, live chat, email, phone and GoToWebinar. UniQuest Student Enrolment Advisers expertly manage conversations across all channels and time zones, enabling EIT InnoEnergy to engage every student on the right channel at the ideal time. Since 1st February, UniQuest has managed nearly 145,000 communications with EIT InnoEnergy’s prospective students.

‘UniQuest has been instrumental in our ability to engage students. They’re the engine behind us, moving fast so we don’t let students down.’

Javier Arias, Senior Marketing Manager – Master and PhD Schools, EIT InnoEnergy

Improving the student journey

Prospective students have been really appreciative of EIT InnoEnergy’s mission to reassure them as they navigate through the chaos of COVID-19.

‘Thank you for contacting me to see if I had any questions. I think the fee reduction is brilliant and the extra provision for online learning has helped me rest easy.’

Offer holder, Spain

The positive reaction has not only been evident in student feedback but also through student behaviour. EIT InnoEnergy is continuing to see students register and pay their deposits for September. Students’ commitment to the institution is a testament to EIT InnoEnergy’s innovative curriculum, rapid response to coronavirus disruption and dedication to student engagement pre-enrolment.

Contact us to learn more about how UniQuest is working with its higher education partners to extend and accelerate student engagement in response to COVID-19.