Working with video production agency Clearhead, Moulton College and Aspire Higher took the bold decision to deliver their first ever virtual events this year resulting in a record number of pre-registrations, online engagement and student conversions. 

This time of year would usually be jam-packed with on-campus events and school outreach visits for both educational institutions, but due to Covid-19 restrictions they were forced to think quickly and creatively. Taking their open day and university experience day online was a big move but one that enabled them to provide an immersive and engaging student experience for young people. 

Paula Page is the Collaborative Project Manager from Aspire Higher - The OfS Uni Connect programme which brings together 29 partnerships of universities, colleges and other local partners to deliver outreach programmes to young people in years 9 to 13, she said:  

“We needed an innovative way to reach Year 13’s and continue the vital work we do to support higher education outreach work in key areas across the country. Having worked with Clearhead previously on our website we approached them about delivering a virtual experience day – the first of its kind in the country. We were obviously nervous as this was a new approach for us and ensuring the technology worked and the content was relevant, dynamic and engaging was key. 

We were delighted with the outcome, Clearhead produced intro animations, video interviews, live links to create interest and clear calls to action and a Q&A platform giving users direct signposting routes and clear ROI metrics for us. As a result, we had 360 YouTube views for the live event and an 840% increase in the amount of unique visits to our website 

Similarly, Moulton College needed to provide an open day experience that showcased their courses, facilities and USPs using seamless technology and delivering a great and safe online experience despite not being able to set foot on site.  

Susan Titmuss, Marketing Manager at Moulton College said:  

“We wanted to replicate our usual open day experience as much as possible so that potential students could get a feel for the college and ask tutors questions about the courses. We were passionate about working with a local agency that understood our audiences and Moulton College’s unique values; Clearhead took the brief and developed a great concept which delivered exactly what we wanted – a slick, professional and seamless event that has received great feedback from visitors.  

Over 400 unique page visits were made to our website throughout the day and pre-registrations increased by 137%. It was great to see so many people taking an interest in studying at the College. It really shows the appetite for online events such as these and it’s something we’ll definitely be looking into running again.”  

Kathy Bird, CEO at Clearhead said:  

“The education landscape is changing, and delivering an informative, creative student experience online is a real challenge for the sector right now. We’ve been supporting our clients to create memorable and successful virtual events over the last 6 months and we’re excited at how they’ve embraced this new approach and the opportunities it brings.  

Using the right technology and creative approach, a virtual event such as an Open Day enables prospective students to engage from anywhere in the world and receive a fully immersive experience.  

When putting together the online production for Aspire Higher and Moulton College we had to get the right balance between technical specifications, safeguarding requirements and delivering the best current information whilst creating an online legacy. Partnering up with professional broadcast software OBS and ECAMM we were able to deliver on all of these things whilst also creating an experience that returned real results. 

I think virtual events will become the norm, not only due to the opportunities they provide for international students but also the level of creativity they offer to universities and colleges. We’re already working on projects to support the next key dates in the education calendar including new term enrolments and fresher’s fairs.” 

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Providing trustworthy and positive Further Education news and views since 2003, we are a digital news channel with a mixture of written word articles, podcasts and videos. Our specialisation is providing you with a mixture of the latest education news, our stance is always positive, sector building and sharing different perspectives and views from thought leaders, to provide you with a think tank of new ideas and solutions to bring the education sector together and come up with new innovative solutions and ideas.

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Every week FE News has over 200 articles and new pieces of content per week. We are a news channel providing the latest Further Education News, giving insight from multiple sources on the latest education policy developments, latest strategies, through to our thought leaders who provide blue sky thinking strategy, best practice and innovation to help look into the future developments for education and the future of work.

In May 2020, FE News had over 120,000 unique visitors according to Google Analytics and over 200 new pieces of news content every week, from thought leadership articles, to the latest education news via written word, podcasts, video to press releases from across the sector.

We thought it would be helpful to explain how we tier our latest education news content and how you can get involved and understand how you can read the latest daily Further Education news and how we structure our FE Week of content:

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Our main features are exclusive and are thought leadership articles and blue sky thinking with experts writing peer to peer news articles about the future of education and the future of work. The focus is solution led thought leadership, sharing best practice, innovation and emerging strategy. These are often articles about the future of education and the future of work, they often then create future education news articles. We limit our main features to a maximum of 20 per week, as they are often about new concepts and new thought processes. Our main features are also exclusive articles responding to the latest education news, maybe an insight from an expert into a policy announcement or response to an education think tank report or a white paper.

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FE Voices was originally set up as a section on FE News to give a voice back to the sector. As we now have over 3,000 newsrooms and contributors, FE Voices are usually thought leadership articles, they don’t necessarily have to be exclusive, but usually are, they are slightly shorter than Main Features. FE Voices can include more mixed media with the Further Education News articles, such as embedded podcasts and videos. Our sector response articles asking for different comments and opinions to education policy announcements or responding to a report of white paper are usually held in the FE Voices section. If we have a live podcast in an evening or a radio show such as SkillsWorldLive radio show, the next morning we place the FE podcast recording in the FE Voices section.

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We record our own exclusive FE News podcasts, work in conjunction with sector partners such as FAB to create weekly podcasts and daily education podcasts, through to working with sector leaders creating exclusive education news podcasts.

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If you want to write a thought leadership article, share your ideas and vision for the future of education or the future of work, write a press release sharing the latest education news or contribute to a podcast, first of all you need to set up a FE Newsroom login (which is free): once the team have approved your newsroom (all content, newsrooms are all approved by a member of the FE News team- no robots are used in this process!), you can then start adding content (again all articles, videos and podcasts are all approved by the FE News editorial team before they go live on FE News). As all newsrooms and content are approved by the FE News team, there will be a slight delay on the team being able to review and approve content.

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