How do we engage our Stakeholders?
What are students thinking about?
Support extended by Institutions
Published weekly, the Sannam S4 Education Team sentiment snapshot highlights information drawn from a survey conducted every week in an effort to gather on-ground intelligence from our education team to assist all our stakeholders (students, Universities, Agents etc.) in preparing for the uncertainty surrounding the ongoing COVID-19 situation. This snapshot sets the baseline for our regular future study and presents the insights from a survey conducted with our on-ground education team in India from March 16 to March 20, 2020, prior to local travel restrictions In India.
We surveyed 50 of our in-country representatives for various Universities across Australia, Canada, New Zealand, United Kingdom and United States of America. We aim to add more representation and a larger sample size for our future surveys.
Key Findings from our survey:
- Most Preferred Communication medium to Engage with Stakeholders during the ongoing crises: WhatsApp (19%) and Zoom (19%)
- 40% of our education team suggest the use of multiple channels to drive deeper engagement with stakeholders
- Current Focus: Conversions (35%), forging out Institutional partnerships (25%) and engaging stakeholders (13%)
- Is the market ready to accommodate the current challenge? Not at all, only 25% of agent events are currently online
- What should we do? Go digital (42%), build student confidence/trust and work more closely with agents (24%).
- Key Challenges: Event Cancellations (24%), Uncertainty around intake/Visa (19%), postponing of Exams – Boards, IELTS etc (14%).
- Major country-specific challenges for US, UK, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand: mobility and concerns around student safety
- What do our students want to know? University Preparedness for COVID-19 (21.95%) and whether the program will run as per schedule (24.39%)?
- Support from Institutions: Frequent updates (29%) to our students and staff, along with chalking out a contingency plan (24%) for connecting/engaging with stakeholders remotely.
Top queries from students:
Most of the student concerns are around whether the course will run as per schedule (24.39%), University Preparedness for COVID-19 (21.95%), impact of delay in results (12.20%). Quite a few students (12.2%) are also requesting for extensions on their application and fee submission. Although, too early but it is necessary for the institutions to address these concerns from the students and if already addressed, then the institutions must ensure feedback from all the stakeholders to identify gaps, if any.
Support provided by Institutions
Most of the institutions (29%) have been prompt in providing regular updates to the students and also developing a contingency plan for connecting with stakeholders remotely (24%). Institutions are also extending support to the in-country representatives by providing access to digital platforms (5%) and helping them manage it (7%). Some institutions (5%) have also created a Whatsapp group to address student queries in real-time.
Next week, we will also examine how these sentiments have changed amidst the uncertainty surrounding the ongoing COVID-19 situation. We also plan to capture our agent sentiments over the next week and will share our initial findings.