It may be one of the most prestigious centers of learning in the world, but Oxford University can award itself a fail grade when it comes to its online presence, according to new research by user experience agency Webcredible.
When UK-based Webcredible evaluated the online presence of ten of the UK’s universities, pass marks didn’t automatically go to those with the best reputations. In fact, Oxford University, one of the oldest and most-respected, had the poorest online presence of them all.
Situated among the dreaming spires of Oxford, the university scored just 18 out of 50 for its online presence, coming tenth and last, trailing its neighbor Oxford Brookes, which came in seventh, and Cambridge University, in fifth place.
It was Cardiff University that achieved first place with a score of 33 out of 50, thanks to its “exemplary homepage”, the only one in the study to receive full marks.
The best practice guidelines used to rate the universities included course finding and tuition fee information, social media presence, details of accommodation availability and costs, the website’s mobile and tablet experience and fresher’s week advice.
Trenton Moss, founder and commercial director at Webcredible, believes Oxford may be relying too much on its reputation and neglected its online presence.
“Universities are operating in an increasingly competitive market so they need to think like businesses; an engaging, informative online presence is essential in order to attract prospective students, particularly high-paying international candidates,” he said.
“It is vital that universities make it as easy as possible for prospective students to get the information they need throughout this process to make the right decision,” Moss added.