University Websites? Up to Scratch?

Hmmm, university websites definitely need a lot of work – but should we be treating students like consumers?

Universities are missing out on applications, as well as thousands of pounds in income, because their websites are outdated and unappealing to prospective students, a digital agency has warned.

Many institutions fail to treat applicants as online consumers and need to take steps to make their websites more like e-commerce giants such as Amazon, according to Nomensa in a report titledEnhancing the University Submission Experience.

The document claims that the increase in tuition fees has made students increasingly discerning when deciding whether or not to go on to higher education, and so a good website design is vital.

Simon Norris, chief executive of the agency, said that universities “are sadly lacking in their provision of online support to students at key points in their decision-making”.

Read full story, and a story in the Telegraph from 2010.