When it comes to attracting new faces to a university, the benefits of peer recruitment are well documented, with the opinions of fellow students seen as more authentic and trustworthy than any coming from the institution itself.
But what motivates the motivators?
According to a forthcoming white paper by peer recruitment professionals, The Access Platform (TAP), student ambassadors are chiefly driven by the opportunity to form new relationships and support others on their higher education journey.
Set to be discussed in a webinar on October 29, ‘Making a difference: what motivates student ambassadors?’ polled the opinions of almost 100 student ambassadors from four continents.
“The natural response, of course, is to assume [ambassadors’] actions are financially motivated,” said Nik Higgins, TAP’s co-founder and chief strategy officer.
“But what we have discovered could not be further from this assumption. Rather than money, on the part of the majority, it is a desire to help guide prospective students through the maelstrom of the university selection process.
Eighty-seven per cent of respondents said they wanted to ‘simply help prospective students make the best decision about their future’, while only 38% said they were prompted by the prospect of earning extra money.
Ninety-nine per cent told TAP that more universities should start their own student ambassador scheme.
“Times are constantly changing, but that change has been particularly acute this year, with the pandemic affecting applications from both domestic and international students,” added Higgins.
“What the white paper has shown us is how powerful a simple message between like-minded people can be: how one conversation virtually can boost morale for both sides, helping to empower prospective students to make big decisions about where they want to study when visiting in person isn’t possible.”
Anyone interested in joining The Access Platform’s October 29 webinar can do so here.