The educational sector has faced a whirlwind of change and adjustment since the start of the pandemic in 2020! School districts, state-funded, and private institutions have been faced with the challenge of balancing connectivity, immersive learning, and productivity with safety and security. The start of 2021 saw virtual events in higher education becoming the norm. When spring came along, lots of institutions tested a mix of virtual and in-person. And with COVID-19 case numbers lowering dramatically the world seems ready for a globally dominant in-person environment again. Seem like the world is going back to how things were right? Well… not exactly. With the Delta variant becoming more prevalent, school districts and universities are requiring faculty and students to be fully vaccinated upon the start of the school year. The educational sector has faced this problem before. With familiarity, comes routine. And with routine, comes regularity. As schools and universities enter their third “pandemic” school year, school departments are looking at ways to leverage and propel virtual, hybrid, and in-person environments to their operations. Faculty, students, administrators, even alumni are looking for ways to connect in a realistic and humanistic nature, without compromising with an artificial experience. We believe higher education bodies such as alumni associations, faculties, and recruitment departments can benefit from virtual and hybrid events the most within the educational sector! Here’s how we see all three bodies within higher education benefit from virtual and hybrid events!
University and College Recruitment Experience
Being able to reach prospective and future students to your college and university is absolutely pivotal to generating revenue. College fairs, campus tours, and student interviews are all external event types that colleges and universities can turn virtual! For recruitment departments, hosting these event types virtually does wonders for both your students and your budget. Having a virtual career fair that is accessible for students from across multiple counties, states, and countries means more exposure and more reach to a wider prospective student body. On the student side, this makes recruitment so much easier and accessible for students with tight schedules, students who aren't financially well-off, or students from a different culture who don't want to be culturally overwhelmed. Not to mention, it saves the trouble of travel expenses for recruitment representatives and prospective students.
Having your students graduate to become bright members of the workforce is one thing, but having them return to their alma mater to contribute and give back to the community they were once a part of is a challenge on its own. Alumni associations face that challenge every year as new graduating classes being added to the pool of alumni. Alumni engagement is seen as a top priority for universities and colleges. Although an afterthought to some, alumni associations make up a good chunk of university funding with a majority of donations generated through fundraisers being responsible by university alumni. Alumni engagement is also seen in the form of mentorships, and some even applying as interns for a department within the university. Colleges and higher education institutions have implemented virtual poster sessions, virtual mentorship programs, and virtual fundraisers to their school year activities to alum contribute to their university communities.
Although the pandemic has put most operations to a halt in the early part of 2020, faculty and students who were in university under a study or work visa were put into a peculiar situation. Most students and professors under a study or work visa were given a temporary extension to stay in their country of residence. But teachers who aren't so fortunate or those who have conflicting conditions to the international travel restrictions are forced to either forfeit their teaching or studying position and compromise to a school closer geographically. With virtual events, geopolitical barriers are a cakewalk to maneuver. International students and faculty members can access their activities, lectures, seminars, study sessions, and office hours all virtually without any worry of being in-person during the start of the school year. The same goes for students and faculty members who may be unsafe to the COVID-19 virus, including those who may be opposed to take the vaccination.
We believe that higher education institutions will benefit from the implementation of virtual and hybrid events to their external operations! There are a number of logistical boundaries that virtual events can hurdle over, boundaries that just can't be met with only in-person operations being incorporated. Using virtual events in higher education will only benefit these three bodies within the educational sector by unlocking their reach, engagement, and assessability with their faculty, students, and alumni! There is only so much we can cover in one blog post... that's why we are hosting an event! Join us on Thursday, August 26, 10:30 AM PT as we partner with ACE Virtual Events to attack the logistical challenges of higher education in today’s climate.