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UK: World first as University adopts Facebook as student engagement tool

 University of NorthamptonThe University of Northampton has announced the launch of its new Facebook platform community – in conjunction with Toluna, the world’s leading online panel and survey technology provider – to better engage and communicate with its students.

The University is home to more than 14,000 students and is the first UK university to adopt this innovative technology, which will be a key part of its future student recruitment research strategy.

Using Toluna’s revolutionary solution, the new platform is designed to serve as the primary communication channel for students, providing them with essential information that would have, until now, only been available on the University website or noticeboard. The platform will allow users to participate in surveys and discussions to generate invaluable feedback for the university.

Facebook is also one of the primary methods used in the university admissions process, so will inevitably form a central part of the University’s strategy going forward.

Delia Heneghan, Director of Marketing at the University said: “Changes to top-up fees has meant the higher education market has become increasingly competitive. Meanwhile, the Government’s recent Higher Education White Paper emphasises the need to put students first and at the heart of the system, which is something we already strive to do at Northampton.”

“With a growing reliance on communication via social media rather than through more traditional means, we needed a way to engage and gather feedback from current students as well as attract prospective candidates. Crucially it will also establish a new channel of communication with parents, advisors and alumni.”

Toluna’s Director of Product Technology, Mark Hallums, comments: “We are delighted that the University of Northampton selected Toluna as its partner in this project. Using the platform, the University will now be now able to target members directly from its Facebook fan page, ensuring it can compete effectively on the world stage.”

There are also plans to extend the portal outside of Facebook to engage with international students – a key group for the University’s recruitment team.

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