A couple of months back, I attended a short marketing course at Accelerator, London Metropolitan University’s business incubator that supports student start-ups.
In the branding session, we considered how people determine whether a company’s brand is meaningful enough for them to connect with. It made me consider – what makes a university’s brand meaningful in the long-run?
At its core, a university must run courses that are of a high standard of teaching. That means being up-to-date with the latest developments in the field, access to modern teaching materials and teachers who actually care about their subject and students.
A university must run courses that are focused on helping students get employment in the sector they want. Lectures and seminars that engage a student’s mind and aspirations. A social environment conducive to new friendships, relationships and fun times.
A bonus is having access to facilities that help an individual expand themselves in new ways – as an increasing advocate of sports and fitness myself, I’m thinking particularly of gyms and sports activities here.
Students care about their fields of study, societies and wider environmental and humanitarian concerns. There’s also the local community – a university, with all its resources and exciting young talent, can create events and services that will bring both students and locals together in fulfilling relationships.
Universities should also make sure to support that which the student cares about beyond themselves, so it will instil a pride and loyalty within them that will extend well beyond their years of study. Such measures are much more likely to produce membership paying Alumni.
Functional, personal and collective. At the end of the day, its all about what can the university do to benefit the student.