Improving our student communication – University of Copenhagen

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24 April 2017

Improving our student communication

An analysis of the communication between the University and our students has shown a need for us to focus more on selecting, chopping up and timing information to support our incoming students.

Arriving at a new university in a new country can be quite overwhelming. Not surprisingly, this was reflected in our touch point analysis from 2015. The results reminded us that we must pay even more attention to helping our students navigate by providing guidance on carefully selected topics along the way.

“If something goes wrong, I automatically assume it’s because I’m an International”.
- International student in the touch point analysis

Timing is essential, and nice-to-know information is better left out for our messages to be clear and simple.

Phases and learning outcomes
As a consequence of the touch point analysis, welcoming students to UCPH is now divided into distinctive phases, each with its own communicative elements and well-defined learning outcomes for the students.

  • Recruitment and alignment of expectations
  • Admission
  • Welcome/orientation
  • Study introduction (runs throughout the semester)

Short and to the point
One example of how we have adjusted our communication is our letter of admission for exchange students. Where it used to contain abundant and diverse information, it is now short and to the point.

It purely serves to let the student know that he/she is admitted and provides information on system logins which are essential to complete registration. It lets the student know that there will be separate information regarding housing and registration with authorities at a later time.

In short: “You do not need to worry about that now.”

Step-by-step
Before the students leave for Denmark, the admission phase is completed with an email which outlines to the students where they are in the process – which steps should be completed by now and which lie immediately ahead.

Chopping up the information increases the number of times we ask for the students’ attention, but the benefit is that they learn that the information is important to them right now; be it of a practical or of a more social character to help them settle in.

It requires discipline
What about all the wonderful nice-to-know information? It requires strong discipline not to sneak it into an email or let it all come out at Orientation.

As it is, our Welcome site serves as a catalogue for the students to visit at any time. Information is always available there and the students can visit the site when the time is right for them.